County says support for fixed bus route still a possibility

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County council says the doors are still open for public transit in the Municipality of the County of Pictou.

At a special finance committee meeting Monday evening at Municipal Council for the Municipality of the County of Pictou, councillors rejected a motion concerning the CHAD fixed route pilot project. The motion was brought forth after council had been informed that CHAD had changed the deadline for a decision to April 14 rather than June 30 as previously requested.

Warden Robert Parker’s motion was: “We approve that figure, $17,000 for the fixed route CHAD bus so that they can move forward with purchasing the bus.”

The county has since sent out a press release stating: “At special Financial Services Committee meeting, held earlier this week, Council voted not to speed up decision for funding of a Fixed Route Bus Service.”

Yesterday, Parker clarified the statement from the press release saying, “That’s what I was doing, I was speeding up the process by doing it that night,” he said, adding that in order for the funds to be approved, the motion would have had to pass the finance committee vote then immediatly after would have been brought to a vote during the council meeting that commenced afterward.

“I don’t think it’s fair to accuse the county of killing it,” said Parker, mentioning that the motion was defeated due to the rush of the decision as well as some other factors. The press release noted, however, that council could have a decision for the original decision date in June.

Danny MacGillivray, executive director of CHAD Transit said, “We can’t because of deadlines.” He added that because the deadline was pushed up due to the wait time to obtain a bus, in order for the project to start on time the organization would need approval from the councils by April 14 rather than June. The 14th is a solid deadline for CHAD and could not be pushed back. MacGillivray added that the project would not be able to continue this year.

Check next week’s Advocate for a full story and more details on the situation.

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Heather Brimicombe
Heather Brimicombe is a Pictou County native and graduate from the University of King's College in Halifax with a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree as well as a combined major in Sustainability. She has previously won a Canadian Communities Newspapers award for a multimedia feature and was part of a team nominated for a Canadian Association of Journalism data award in the investigative category. Photography, art, sports and outdoor activities are all hobbies of hers as well as crafting, and baking.