Pictou is showing how sometimes, success is achieved in increments.
Recent road work that is winding down for the year, ongoing efforts to secure tenants near the new roundabout and construction of a new facility to treat the town’s drinking water are among the examples.
Major work to replace underground lines is completed on sections that include Haliburton Road and part of Water Street. It has allowed repaving to proceed this year.
The Haliburton Road project was a protracted one that included repaving the length of it from West River Road to Route 376 after new lines were laid and while curbing and sidewalk work was undertaken. Some ground work remains. Lines and resurfacing on part of Water Street from West River Road to in front of the deCoste Performing Arts Centre was also done.
The two assignments were additions to previous adjoining water systems, guttering and sidewalk replacement and repaving on Church Street.
More work remains to be done, but it all counts.
Requests for proposals for lots of land around the two roundabouts are part of the town’s strategy to improve economic activity. More businesses located near the roundabouts draws on the premise that Pictou needs to attract visitors off the main highways there first, and further encourage them to visit downtown. Much has been written and said over the years about traffic whizzing past Pictou on the way to and from the ferry service. Nothing is easy but creating roundabouts that slow down traffic and making driving simpler and safer is part of the strategy. What it replaced was not working so well. It was time to try something new, even if the full results of it still lie ahead.
Downtown business activity is happening, despite some major setbacks that include the Sears depot closing. A more substantial measure of things will not be known until spring and the tourist season arrives.
The treatment system for Pictou’s drinking water is a key element in the town’s vision for a thriving future. It’s a basic service whose expense is high and whose value is not always measurable. A properly functioning water utility is a civic asset that affects everyone who uses it.
The Town of Pictou is generally trying to sell itself as a place where people would want to visit and live. Revitalizing the town’s housing stock and providing opportunities for more of it form part of the thrust to reverse the town’s declining population.
There are considerable focal points of learning, entertainment, dining, services and attractions that appeal to residents and tourists.
Once visitors and residents appreciate fully what Pictou offers, the opportunities can seem endless, and they are.