Wolfville in the news: poverty report not a good thing

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BY WENDY ELLIOTT

Kings County Advertiser

October 19, Wolfville Councillor Jim Laceby raised concern with recent negative media reports about child poverty levels in Wolfville as a potential embarrassment for the town.

Mayor Bob Stead declined to term the information in the Vital Signs report as embarrassing. He said the information is simply baseline data and draws no conclusions.

Deputy Mayor Hugh Simpson commented council wants to respond and is looking for an opportunity to explore the issues raised by the report.

In early November, Dick Groot of the community foundation is expected to call a meeting for discussion. Community services director Andrew Fry noted the purpose of the report was to generate feedback for the foundation.

Central Ave work

Construction on Central Ave in Wolfville to make it a pedestrian walkway is about to get underway. The project, undertaken by Howard Little Excavating Ltd., will take about eight weeks.

Vistor numbers up

The Wolfville Visitor Information Centre has enjoyed a positive tourist season after several quiet years.

After a slow start in the spring, numbers were up in July, August and September over each month in 2008.

Building happening

About 18 building permits have been issued in Wolfville in the last three months. Eight façade improvement projects have been completed on Main St., Front St. and Elm Ave. Three new businesses have located or are in the process of locating in the town. A permit was also issued for a $3 million apartment building on Woodman Grove.

Councillor Bill Zimmerman said a Wolfville Business Development Corporation member survey in early spring indicated business owners are slightly more optimistic than at the time of the last survey three years ago. “We are suffering from turnover of businesses,” he said. “We need to look beyond our traditional base like the new sustainable housing consultants that are now based in Wolfville. People don’t shop enough in Wolfville to retain retail sector.”

Councillor Jim Laceby called for a “look below surface. “We need to look 20 to 25 years ahead. The downtown should be the centre of life for the town. There are some serious challenges ahead.”

Councillor Keith Irving suggested a civic priority should be an economic strategy and an end survey of businesses that close is a good idea toward that end.

New guidelines

As of Oct. 1, Wolfville has implemented a new parking ticket guideline so unpaid parking tickets can go to the department of justice to be processed. This will ensure the town receives the minimum penalty per parking-infraction ticket issued.

The town has not been collecting all money associated with $15 parking tickets. In the past three years, the uncollected revenue on parking tickets has totaled $9,675.

Organizations: Vital Signs, Howard Little Excavating, Wolfville Visitor Information Centre Wolfville Business Development

Geographic location: Wolfville, Woodman Grove

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