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County Council seeks dialogue on dangerous rail crossings

A rail crossing on private property near Linwood Station Road, Nova Scotia Summer Fest being held at Keppoch Mountain and active transportation opportunities were some of the topics dealt with during the Municipality of the County of Antigonish council's latest regular monthly, public meeting.
A rail crossing on private property near Linwood Station Road, Nova Scotia Summer Fest being held at Keppoch Mountain and active transportation opportunities were some of the topics dealt with during the Municipality of the County of Antigonish council's latest regular monthly, public meeting. - Contributed
LINWOOD, N.S. —

A rail crossing on private property near Linwood Station Road in Antigonish County was the subject of some concern at a recent meeting of the council for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish.

“The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CBNS) has been making some impacts on properties along the rail line,” explained Warden Owen McCarron. “Some areas where the residents had the opportunity to cross have been torn out.”

McCarron said the situation is actually a safety concern in the case of the Linwood Station Road crossing, “because there are two fairly deep holes on both sides of the track, and one is filled with water. Councilor [Gary] Mattie has brought that up on a number of occasions.”

In response to the potential dangers of the Linwood Station Road crossing, council arranged to send a letter to the railway company, noting their safety concerns.

In a number of places where the railway intersects private property there are roads that provide crossing from one side of the property to the other, McCarron explained after council’s June 18 meeting, where the matter was discussed.

The railroad company removing crossings and limiting access for landowners is a matter of concern, McCarron said.

“We’ve had a few farmers and landowners in the community impacted, the way they are leaving deep holes on both sides,” McCarron said.
“Obviously, people are used to a roadway going through and the deep holes arrive out of nowhere. We want to sit down with folks to see that we can have a resolution to make crossings more readily available.”

Genesee and Wyoming, the company that owns the CBNS, was scheduled to meet with council at its June 18 meeting, but was unable to attend. McCarron noted the meeting would be rescheduled to another date in July.

Summer Fest

The Municipality of the County of Antigonish has officially given the green light to Nova Scotia Summer Fest.
At their June 18 committee of the whole meeting, the members of council voted to approve the event and issue a special event permit to its organizers.

“Summer Fest has complied with the conditional permit,” municipal clerk and treasurer Glen Horne said. “They’ve complied with all the requirements we’ve asked of them.
The county established a number of conditions that the issuing of a permit was dependent upon. Those conditions included an operational plan; a site map; a parking plan; waste disposal plans; provisions for emergency access approved by the RCMP; offsite parking provisions and a severe weather plan.

Positive Action for Keppoch has secured event insurance, Horne noted.

Nova Scotia Summer Fest is set to take place Aug. 23 and 24 at the Keppoch.

Active Transportation

Council took a step towards an active transportation route from the roundabout on Hwy. 104 near Addington Forks, to Exit 35 near Lower South River.

Council has agreed to engage the services of WSP Canada to conduct a study to determine the best design for a bicycle corridor in Antigonish County, on a recommendation from Bicycle Nova Scotia.
“We selected a proponent to do an active transportation study,” McCarron said. “Part of that will be working with community groups to figure out an active transportation link and a proper bikeway along some existing highways.”

McCarron noted council is looking forward to what’s to come, since, “it’s been discussed since a couple of years ago. We’re finally going to get the community involved over the next several months.”

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