The people of Mulgrave are frustrated, and have been for some time, by the illegal activities that occur on the streets of what could be described as a sleepy, seaside town. But that’s the problem, it’s not sleepy so much as sleepless due to the noise of ATVs driving illegally on the roads, cars laying rubber on the streets and revving engines interrupting their dreams.

Residents complain to council, which has no jurisdiction over such incidents, and sometimes call the police, but nothing yet has put a dent in the activity that is keeping Mulgrave’s largely senior population up at night.

In an effort to address the issue, council invited the RCMP to its regular council meeting on Jan. 16 for a Q&A session. Sgt. Steven MacCallum attended the meeting, where he heard first-hand accounts from councillors and citizens about the disruption to town life caused by a few individuals, and the lack of response from the RCMP about the issue.

MacCallum suggested one of the possible solutions was the installation of cameras at problem locations; these could both dissuade illegal activity and provide evidence against offenders.

Cameras, MacCallum said, “That’s the witness that’s never scared.”

Several residents spoke at the meeting and explained that on occasion they had called the RCMP to report noise and traffic violations but had received no further feedback from police, and saw no evidence that the police had addressed the complaint.

“Keep phoning, don’t get discouraged,” MacCallum replied. “I’m going to look into this…I need witnesses and IDs of people to go after people.”

Mayor Ron Chisholm also suggested that space in the Mulgrave Memorial Centre could be made available for use by RCMP officers as a satellite office; a suggestion that was welcomed by MacCallum. Currently, officers work from their cruisers and have no permanent location in the town.

In other business, council heard a presentation from the Property Value Services Corporation (PVSC) regarding the recently mailed out 2023 property assessment notices. A three-person team attended the meeting via Zoom and gave a slide show explaining the role of the PVSC, how property assessments were formulated and the process by which property owners could appeal their most recent notice.

The 2023 assessments have risen substantially across the province and PVSC Assistant Director Ken McKinnon explained that this was due to the steep increase in property values in 2021, the year upon which this year’s assessment is based. He added that, while there are three approaches to determining assessed value – sales comparison, income the property can earn and cost to replace buildings deducted from land value–the primary means used in most assessments is the comparison of sales to determine market value.

McKinnon also said that the cooling real estate market in 2022 should be reflected in the 2024 property assessment notice.

In the Town of Mulgrave, the assessment value for all properties, residential and commercial, is $68.7 million.

Council also passed the first reading of an amendment to the land-use by-law that would change the zoning designation on land located on Loggie St., near the museum and McNairs Cove, from industrial to residential on Monday night. Mayor Chisholm told The Journal, “The land has been sitting there for years, not claiming any taxes on it so we might as well put it out to residential. There’s a lot of interest.”

Following completion of agenda items, council went in-camera which resulted in a final motion, tabled and passed, to appoint Beryl Hadley as the returning officer for the special election scheduled for Saturday, March 4. The election was called after the resignation of councillor Tanya Snow-Keeling in December.

By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 18, 2023 at 05:06

This item reprinted with permission from   Guysborough Journal   Guysborough, Nova Scotia

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