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Antigonish County to continue ESREN membership for another year

logo - Corey LeBlanc

Antigonish town and county will continue their memberships with the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network (ESREN) for another year.

During a Jan. 22 committee of the whole meeting, Municipality of the County of Antigonish council decided to take back its notice of withdrawal for April 2019.

In a press release, county officials said council had given its position "significant consideration" over the past two months. 

With ESREN, or any other inter-municipal initiative, the municipality noted "it must balance regional benefit with value for the residents of Antigonish County."

After considering all factors, council said it decided to stay on for another year so ESREN could "continue to demonstrate its ability to improve the business environment in Antigonish County and the Strait area."

“Improved communication and deliverable outcomes are two of the most important things moving forward for the partnership to be successful,” Warden Owen McCarron said.

“The REN is working on some great projects right now and we want to give them the opportunity to continue.”

Municipal officials said they are committed to working with their municipal and provincial partners to advocate for changes to the REN structure that will allow it to better align with the needs of the Strait area.

On the same night, after the regular monthly council meeting for the Town of Antigonish, Mayor Laurie Boucher reiterated their decision to stay on board.

“We’ve already made a motion of support for the REN, so theoretically we’re there,” she told reporters.

“If any of the partners do come out, that does change the structure, and then we’d have to re-evaluate again.”

Along with Antigonish town and county, the other municipal partners from the Strait region include the towns of Port Hawkesbury and Mulgrave, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough and the District of St. Mary’s, which have not made their final decision.

In March, each member gave its notice of withdrawal, a requirement of the partnership, which must be made one year in advance.

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