TRURO, NS - What’s been happening and what’s in the works were topics of discussion during the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mayors and Chief’s Breakfast Wednesday morning, and tables at the Holiday Inn were filled for the event.
Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade had a long list of items to report on, with new businesses and development in the area.
“Economic development is one of the key drivers behind our community,” he said. “Work on a 12,500-square-foot strip mall is underway. We decided to build it and see what happens. When we started we had no tenants; now we have a contract with OnX International and we’re working on a number of other deals we can’t announce yet.”
East Coast International and Race Auto Group relocated to the Power Centre, and the band opened a Cheese Curds-Habaneros restaurant.
Gloade noted the atmosphere at the band’s Cole Harbour gaming facility was changed, with a licensed bar and Greco Express added. There are plans to make similar changes to the facility in Millbrook later this year or next.
He said the band is working on both the growing, and retail side of cannabis, and that people should, “Stay tuned for what’s going to happen there.”
During the past year and a half, the band had 32 new housing units built, and installed heat pumps in many homes. Construction will begin this spring on a new arbor for the Powwow grounds.
A lot of things have taken place in the Town of Truro during the past few years, with development of the Civic Square, renovations to the Farmers’ Market and library, and improvements to recreational facilities.
“It’s time to pay the piper, and take steps to bring the debt down,” said Truro Mayor Bill Mills.
“There’s still development taking place, and we’re going to see some development on the former jail. It’s taken a while but it’s starting to move forward.”
He said having the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championships being held at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre in July, will bring a lot of recognition and economic benefits to the area. This is the eighth year the event has been held, but the first time it’s been held in North America.
Stewiacke Mayor Wendy Robinson noted there has been steady economic growth in the town, and improvements continue.
There are three streets that still need repairs, but the town is waiting to hear what federal funding is available to see if the work can be done this year.
“We are actively marketing Stewiacke whenever possible,” she said. “We offer favourable tax rates for businesses and residents, and it’s a great location.”
The art gallery and Stewiacke Farmers’ Market return to make the Mastodon Ridge an especially vibrant spot during the summer.
Robinson said Stewiacke even has doctors still taking new patients.
Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair noted activity taking place in the Debert area, with upgrades for the airport now being considered.
“It’s a prime location for business development, with the highways and an airport,” she said.
Debert will be the site of some major activity in September, when Mud Hero is held at the airfield.
Work is ongoing at the Fundy Discovery site – the former Palliser motel property – which is drawing large numbers of visitors.
For both economic and environmental benefits, the county is looking into new markets for film plastics and exploring methods of using waste to create energy.
The municipalities often share information and work together on projects,
“One thing our area has become recognized for is collaboration,” added Gloade.