Free parking will, once again, be the norm in downtown Antigonish for the Christmas season … but just not on Main Street.
Mayor Laurie Boucher explained the problem for free parking on Main Street is that it ends up being counter-productive to helping businesses on Main Street, and costumers who would like to shop at those businesses, because people were taking advantage of no meter to park all-day, at some of the most convenient spots.
“We used to, it’s only the last two years we haven’t given free parking on Main Street,” she said.
“The idea is; parking on Main Street is for people to patronize the businesses there, and in order for that to occur, you should have revolving parking spots so people can park in front of stores they want to shop in. If we have people parking there all day, it counteracts the idea of having parking meters there.
“It was actually some of the businesses which came to us saying it wasn’t quite working on Main Street because they noticed people parking in those spots all day. From there, we decided to keep parking meters active on Main Street but give free parking behind the businesses [and in other downtown lots].”
During the Nov. 19 meeting, Boucher also spoke to conversations she has had with other municipality leaders about banning the use of plastic bags, in light of the province stating they will not be issuing such a ban.
“Nova Scotia is number one as far as recycling and waste commitment, so why not do it now? It would be nice to lead the province on this; the province has indicated that, at this time, they’re not interested in doing it province-wide so this is a chance where each municipality could stand up and lead the province in how we want to go,” Boucher said.
Councillor Jack MacPherson, chair of the waste management, started the conversation with another reminder, especially for this time of year where residents do so much shopping, to bring reusable bags into grocery and department stores; eliminating the need for plastic ones.
Donnie MacInnis will take on the role of deputy mayor for the Town of Antigonish.
MacInnis succeeds councillor Diane Roberts who finished her term with council’s regular monthly public meeting Nov. 19.
The veteran councillor noted this will be his second time in the role, having served a term in 2009.
“I have 13 years of experience on council, so I think that’s a benefit to being deputy mayor,” MacInnis said. “My current job as branch manager of East Coast Credit Union in Antigonish, having that financial background, certainly plays a role too.”
Asked about important projects he anticipates during his time in the role, MacInnis pointed to the town’s Envision Antigonish work, which will help shape its municipal planning strategy and land-use bylaw.
“We’ll continue with that over the next year to bring new ideas and thoughts to our community, about what else we can bring to our residents,” he said.