Media Releases

Committee of the whole recommends approval of temporary borrowing resolution

Amherst town council’s committee whole on Dec. 14, 2020, approved sending a temporary borrow resolution, in an amount not exceeding $1,378,000, to the Dec. 21, 2020, council meeting for approval. 

The resolution, which must also be approved by the Municipal Affairs minister, would give the town the authority to borrow the money for the funding of five capital projects.

The projects include the Albion Street water main replacement ($443,000), purchasing a generator for the wellfield ($240,00), monitoring wells ($40,000), buying a pumper truck ($600,000) and purchasing property ($65,000).

The resolution does not mean the town will borrow the money. It gives it the authority to borrow the money if required. 

Winter Parking Ban Review 

The committee received a report on the winter parking ban review that was carried out by the town’s parking authority.

The review compared the town’s winter parking ban with those in Truro, New Glasgow, Bridgewater, Kentville, Yarmouth, Halifax, Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John. The research showed those communities’ approach to a winter parking ban is similar to the Town of Amherst.

As a result, the traffic authority concluded there was no need to alter the winter parking ban currently used by the town.  

That ban, which prohibits parking on town streets between midnight and 7 a.m. or when snow clearing operations are underway, runs annually from Nov. 15 to April 15.

Noise Bylaw Review 

The committee received a report on research into a Noise Bylaw that was conducted by Police Chief Dwayne Pike. 

The review was initiated last September by the committee after members received complaints about loud mufflers.

It noted that many jurisdictions rely on the Motor Vehicle Act to address issues of excessive noise and the act is the strongest piece of legislation currently available to combat muffler noise. 

The review also noted that addressing muffler noise with a new noise bylaw may be problematic as many of the clauses in noise bylaws reviewed by the chief do not adequately provide the tools to limit exhaust noise nor do they address vehicle inspection regulations. 

In addition, the report noted the use of a decibel reader can be problematic and challenged in court if the testing is not done in a controlled setting.

It concluded the town may want to create a new noise bylaw to address loud noises coming from parties, idling vehicles, fireworks and noise created by disorderly conduct, but such a bylaw would not be effective in addressing noises caused by loud mufflers.

The committee directed town staff to prepare a discussion paper on the pros and cons of having a noise bylaw. The paper is to be presented to the committee at its February meeting.