New repairs in store for road to popular Port Bickerton Lighthouse site

·3 min read

ST. MARY’S — Proving, perhaps, that if you build it, potholes will come, council for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s is facing repairs to the Port Bickerton Lighthouse road a year after it paid to have much of it protected against the elements.

According to a letter from Don Dodge, president of the Port Bickerton Lighthouse Association, the municipally owned route to the historic site, tourist destination and writers’ retreat is “riddled with potholes,” adding, “It would help us plan for the upcoming season if we knew what the chances [of maintenance] were.”

At council’s committee of the whole meeting on May 18, Warden Greg Wier said: “I think that we should do something … get prices for grading … get someone to go and have a look and see what’s needed this year.”

Last year, Deputy Warden James Fuller investigated the road’s condition before reporting back to council. “It is currently beyond simple pothole repair and grading,” he said at the time. “Sections of the road have been filled in with inadequate fill from the beach and accessible dirt, which most certainly will not hold up to the frequent severe weather conditions.”

Council approved funding of $14,700 plus HST to George F. MacDonald & Sons to supply and place armour stone along approximately 500 feet of ocean frontage in sections where erosion occurred and repairs to the roadway.

District 8 Councillor James Harpell will investigate the road’s condition and report to council at its June committee of the whole meeting.

Workplace harassment and discrimination policy

Government and staff for St. Mary’s municipality are updating their workplace harassment and discrimination policy to include bullying as one of the behaviours deemed unacceptable under provisions of the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

“Sometimes bullying is so subtle,” noted District 1 Councillor Courtney Mailman at the May 18 meeting. “It can be very passive aggressive. There’s situations in my personal work experience where it’s hard to verbalize what’s going on, but it is happening.”

CAO Marissa Jordan concurred, noting: “We can [create] some wording regarding that … Sometimes, when those incidents are happening, they're so small they get shrugged off. But they add up, and it can become a very big problem in the workplace.”

Jordan explained that staff has developed the policy to clearly articulate personal boundaries and responsibilities in municipal workplace settings. “The scope applies to all council members, and salaried employees—full time, part time, seasonal and temporary—as well as independent contractors, agents, applicants, and reps of the municipality,” she said. “That also includes anyone attending a municipal workplace, such as members of the public.”

Authority for the provision is set out in the MGA. Jordan said staff should have a final draft for consideration by the committee of the whole this month.

Municipal volunteer of the year nominations

St. Mary’s councillors have tendered their pick for municipal volunteer of the year from a field of six nominees provided by community vote. And the winner is … Nominee “A”.

Council elected to withhold the recipient’s identity until he/she/they could be contacted. “Of course, they have to accept,” quipped Jordan. The annual competition honours a resident individual or organization who has, in the opinion of their fellow citizens, “helped make our community a wonderful place to live.”

An announcement is expected shortly.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal

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