Mulgrave disappointed by road work delay in Aulds Cove

GUYSBOROUGH – Mulgrave Mayor Ron Chisholm said he is frustrated by what he sees as the declining importance placed on road issues in and around the Town of Mulgrave by the provincial Department of Public Works, at the regular council meeting held Oct. 3.

Earlier that day, Chisholm had a meeting with department employees and was surprised to learn that the much-anticipated reconfiguration of the intersection in Aulds Cove—at the junction of Highway 344 and the TransCanada Highway—would not begin construction until the coming spring.

He said, “We took it that when the tender went out, everything was finalized. And we heard that they were in talks with Cape Breton Rail. So, I thought that was all hashed out. When the tender went through a week ago last Friday, we figured that they’d still be starting. So, I brought it to the table today…then they told me that they had an order in, new lights [etc.]… and it would take six months.”

In addition to not being informed of the construction timeline on the Aulds Cove intersection project, which is vital to the egress and ingress to the Town of Mulgrave, Chisholm said that over time his calls had been relegated from messages to the minister, to the deputy minister and now to project managers.

Monday’s meeting had been pushed back several times and was requested by the town to discuss paving on the three-lane stretch of Highway 344, approximately three kms of pavement, that runs from the edge of Mulgrave towards Aulds Cove. This portion of the highway is recognized as the responsibility of the town, but Chisholm said, “We can’t afford to pave it.” Due to the heavy truck traffic on the road, he was hoping the province would take on the project. He was informed that the Department of Public Works would not approve his request.

In other business, council was informed by Town of Mulgrave CAO David Gray that the contract they have with the Municipality of the District of Guysborough to share the services of a by-law enforcement officer only applies to dog related by-laws. The town is now in consultation with neighbouring municipal units in Cape Breton to investigate the possibility of a shared by-law officer to enforce all by-laws including the recent amendment to the land use by-law in Mulgrave, which limits the keeping of farm animals to 12 laying or meat hens and was passed this summer.

Councillor Krista Luddington informed council that the application deadline for the Mulgrave Youth Council has been extended until Friday, October 14. Anyone interested in participating in the youth council should contact Luddington or the Town Office.

Council also passed a motion to declare the first week in October International Senior’s Week going forward and is prepared to sponsor an event to celebrate the occasion. This year the town has provided funding to hold a merchandise bingo.

Policing was discussed at Monday night’s council meeting, with councillors and community members in the gallery speaking about the lack of police response to calls about noise complaints and the danger caused by people speeding on Mulgrave’s streets.

The issue will be brought to the attention of the RCMP, which provides policing in the Town of Mulgrave from their office in Port Hawkesbury, once again. Chisholm said he wouldn’t stop pushing for more patrols and better response to calls until the situation was rectified.

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal