News & Events
News release: Municipality in Strong Financial Health
- Published: Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:07
September 15, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – The Province recently released their annual Financial Condition Indicators results for 2019/20, showing that the Municipality is in strong financial health.
The indicators provide a risk‐based approach to evaluating municipalities and are presented in a house format graph. This visual focuses on key performance indicators, leading financial indicators and potential internal and external factors that could have an impact on a municipality’s financial results. The risk thresholds are coloured: yellow indicates medium risk, red indicates high risk and green, low risk. The overall financial condition risk assessment for our Municipality is green, which means that the Municipality is considered low risk for fiscal instability.
“As in previous years, MODL has green indicators in all categories, with the exception of budget accuracy, which is red due to budget surpluses,” said Elana Wentzell, Director of Finance. “A budget is a plan and can change throughout the year when we plan for projects that may not move forward or are delayed due to funding partnership approvals, or when revenue estimates are too conservative. The surpluses are placed in reserves to ensure there are funds to help mitigate the financial impact of major, non‐recurring or unforeseen expenditures on the Municipality’s annual operating budget as well as take advantage of unexpected opportunities to leverage external funding programs.”
“The Municipality is in a strong financial position,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We are very close to being debt free, which is expected in fall of 2021. We continue to keep our tax rate steady. As the report shows, Council continues to set aside sufficient funds to help mitigate any unforeseen risks, and we have healthy reserves to help address unexpected events and provide flexibility to address future projects.”
Elana Wentzell, CPA CMA
Director of Finance
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
News release: Dry Well Relief Program
- Published: Friday, 11 September 2020 10:03
September 11, 2020 / For Immediate Release
The program will provide with 4L of bottled water per person per day up to a maximum of four 4L jugs per day per household. Only households experiencing a clean water shortage are eligible to receive the coupons.
Coupons are good for a one-week period (Monday to Sunday) and will expire each Sunday for as long as the program is running. After expiration, new coupons can be picked up on a daily, weekly or as-needed basis. Each coupon can be exchanged at select retailers within the Municipality for one 4L jug of water (no substitutes).
As of September 11, 2020 the locations in which the coupons can be used are:
- Sam’s No Frills, Bridgewater
- Francis’ Your Independent Grocer, Lunenburg
- Nick’s Your Independent Grocer, Mahone Bay
- New Germany Freshmart
Residents of Big and Little Tancook Islands can go to the Municipality of the District of Chester and applicable Chester retail locations for their water coupons and bottles of water.* This program will be re-evaluated as precipitation changes.
The Municipality, through the Regional Emergency Management Office and in collaboration with other municipal units in the area, have opened several locations with water refill stations and shower availability. Water refill stations are for water bottles and jugs, not for bulk water refills. The locations are as follows:
- Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre – Residents must call in advance.
- Lunenburg Board of Trade Campground – Residents must call before they plan to arrive for showers. Showers can be held between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., 7 days per week. Residents can refill water 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 7 days per week.
- Rissers Beach Provincial Park
- Graves Island Provincial Park
A dry well survey has also been created for residents to complete. The answers to this survey will help emergency management officials determine the extent and severity of the dry weather. They can also determine if there are certain areas which require more assistance than others, and can give consideration to helping those areas more directly. This information can also be useful if we have another drought situation in the future, as we can determine which areas are likely to be impacted first.
* MODL will be reimbursing MODC for this use.
News release: New Fibre Internet Projects Coming to MODL
- Published: Tuesday, 01 September 2020 11:52
September 1, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg has committed to financial support of $1,925,250 to provide approximately 5,650 homes and business access to Bell Canada’s all-fibre network. This project, through the provincial Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative, will provide residents with download speeds of up to 1.5 Gigabits.
“These new projects will bring fibre based high-speed Internet to every district within the Municipality,” said Dave Waters, Director of Business Development, Tourism and Infrastructure. “We will also continue to work on connecting any remaining underserved residents through Develop Nova Scotia, which is leading the provincial initiative and through the upcoming Federal Universal Broadband fund.”
There are 9 new projects for the Municipality:
- Upper LaHave
- New Elm
- Mahone Bay North
- Lunenburg Area
- Lunenburg County Northwest
- Lunenburg County North
- Bridgewater area
“We continue to work to improve access to high-speed Internet for our residents and businesses,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “Since 2016 we’ve increased high-speed Internet connections from approximately 60% to 72%. These additional projects will increase our connectivity to roughly 95% of households with wired Internet above 50Mbps in the Municipality.”
Maps of the projects will be posted on modl.ca/Internet by the middle of September. The Municipality intends to keep working to connect residents not covered by these projects.
Director of Business Development, Tourism and Infrastructure
Fibre Project Milestones
- Milestone 1A is the field detailing or collection of data from the project area that help design the fibre network.
- Milestone 1B is our completed engineering package which includes detailed design and results in fibre orders being placed with Corning.
- Milestone 2 relates to permits with the Department of Forest and Lands and Make Ready by NS Power. This involves replacing some poles, adding anchors, perhaps raising their own attachments, etc. This is a fairly lengthy process to complete with DFL.
- Milestone 3 involves tree trimming and fibre construction. There is some overlap between milestones 2 and 3.
- Finally, Milestone 4 involves commissioning of the fibre network and opening the area for sales.
News release: MODL to Offer Telephone, Electronic Voting
- Published: Thursday, 06 August 2020 09:21
August 6, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – At a special meeting on July 28, Council for the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg unanimously voted in favor of using telephone and personal computing devices such as smartphones, iPads, and computers only for both the Advance Poll and on Election Day in the 2020 Municipal and CSAP elections to be held in October .
“We know electors have concerns for their safety during a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the fall, and our concern for the safety of both electors and election workers at the polling stations was why we made this decision,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We used telephone and internet voting successfully in the 2016 Municipal & School Board elections during the Advance Polls, and are prepared to help all residents use these services again this October.”
Voting will be open from 8:00 am Thursday, October 8, ending at 7:00 pm Saturday, October 17.
“A voting kiosk consisting of a telephone and computer will be set up at the MODL office for those electors who do not feel comfortable voting at home, or for those who may not have the resources such as phone and internet service but still would like to cast a ballot,” says Leah Zinck, Returning Officer. “An election staff member will be available to provide assistance if required. The kiosk will be set up during regular business hours of the voting period as well as from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm on October 17 and will follow all Public Health protocols.”
A helpline will be available every day during regular office hours to answer any questions an elector may have and to assist the elector during the voting process. More details will be available at modl.ca/Election in the coming weeks.
Intelivote Systems Inc provided the service in 2016, and will provide this service again in 2020.
All qualified electors who are on the List of Electors with a correct mailing address will receive a Voter Information Letter in late September. This letter will contain a unique PIN identifier which will be required to vote either by telephone or by internet.
Are you on the list?
Revision to the List of Electors will continue throughout the election period. If an elector does not receive their Voter Information Letter by the end of September or if the information received is incorrect, they should contact the elections office.
News release: Municipality Awards Emergency Assistance Funds
- Published: Wednesday, 29 July 2020 10:18
July 29, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg has awarded more than $116,000 in emergency funding to support not-for-profit organizations and fire departments impacted by COVID-19 cancellations.
Forty-four organizations received a total of $83,658 from the Community Facility Emergency Assistance Fund. Additionally, Council will transfer $32,500 from the Community Facility Emergency Assistance Fund to the Fire Departments Municipal Grant Fund. This allows Council to distribute $32,500 in emergency assistance funding to MODL fire departments. As a result of this decision, each Fire Department will receive a 50% increase in their annual grant.
“We’re dismayed to see the scope of revenue lost by our organizations,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, many groups are experiencing significant financial hardship. We hope this emergency funding will help these organizations and our fire departments during this difficult time.”
News release: Municipality Appoints New Director of Recreation
- Published: Thursday, 23 July 2020 09:15
July 23, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg has appointed Bill Schurman as Director of Recreation.
Schurman has a long career as a leader in recreation in the Maritimes. His career includes a stint as the Director Athletics & Recreation with the University of PEI, almost a decade in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league acting as GM of the Moncton Wildcats and President/Governor of the Lewiston MAINEiacs, and more than 20 years as the Director of Community Services for the City of Summerside, PEI. Most recently, he spent five years with the Town of Amherst as their Director of Recreation. While in Amherst, Schurman and his team championed Amherst’s vision of becoming the most active healthy community in Nova Scotia and developed a pilot project where all youth program ice time fees at the Amherst Stadium were waived, supporting accessible inclusive recreation. Schurman also helped develop Amherst’s popular off-leash dog park, many active transportation projects and the community's first forum on poverty reduction.
In addition, Schurman has chaired numerous major events and projects, from local to international. Schurman and his teams have been presented with numerous awards including the Innovator of the Year for the NS Recreation Association, Sport NS Difference Maker, and YMCA Peace medal. He has served on numerous boards and organizations, including the Canadian Parks & Recreation Association and Softball Canada.
“We are very pleased to welcome Bill to our team,” says CAO Tom MacEwan. “Bill comes to us with a really exceptional background as a leader in sport and recreation and was responsible for a number of prominent initiatives at Amhurst that were well received. We are lucky to have him joining our team.”
“On behalf of myself and Council, I’d like to welcome Bill to the team,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson.
“I’m looking forward to joining team MODL and working with everyone doing all we can to support and encourage the health and well-being of residents,” says Schurman. Schurman will begin his role with the Municipality on August 4, 2020.
News release: Municipality Launches New Accessible Website
- Published: Monday, 13 July 2020 09:06
July 13, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg has launched their new website, designed to be more accessible to all website visitors, including people who identify as having disabilities.
“We’re committed to ensuring our website is as accessible as possible for all users,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “To achieve this, we worked with the Association of Municipal Administrators’ Municipal Website Venture, and the website was audited for barriers throughout the development process by the Canadian digital accessibility company, Access Changes Everything.”
“Association of Municipal Administrators (AMANS) believes that information contained on municipal websites should be accessible to all citizens. We were delighted to partner with Access Changes Everything to develop an accessible website for the municipality,” says AMANS President Mike Dolter.
Access Changes Everything conducted a full audit of the public facing website from March to May 2020. This audit was done throughout the website development process and included extensive manual and automated testing. Most importantly, testing was done by paid testers with different disabilities, who used different technologies. This website audit was focused on lowering barriers for people with different disabilities, such as visual, hearing, mobility, speech, communication, cognitive, neurological, intellectual, learning, and those with multiple disabilities.
This audit was done using the international standard that relates to website accessibility, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and 2.2 (Draft) Level AA. The audit went further than WCAG 2.1 or WCAG 2.2 (Draft) Level AA. It included items that are not currently included in WCAG, such as checking for colour combinations problematic for people with colour blindness, font type and style, and lessening other barriers that impact people with cognitive, neurological, intellectual and/or learning disabilities. The audit also included usability best practices, in order to make the site more accessible and usable for everyone.
“Almost all the barriers noted in the audit report were either eliminated, or acceptable workarounds we suggested,” says Lisa Snider of Access Changes Everything. “However, there were some barriers that could not be fully eliminated. Some of these barriers were found in third party vendor plug ins. Not all vendors, or developers, could make their product more accessible by the end of the audit period. These vendors have been asked to make their plug ins more accessible, and we hope to see further progress in these areas. Access Changes Everything is thrilled that the Municipality and AMANS are working hard to make websites more accessible and are encouraging others to follow their lead.”
News release: Municipality Launches Emerg. Assistance Fund
- Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2020 13:53
June 23, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg has established an Emergency Assistance Fund for Community Organizations to support organizations impacted by COVID-19 cancellations and is now accepting applications for the fund.
“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many local groups and community organizations have not been able to host planned fundraising events and activities,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “This inability to hold these activities has resulted in significant financial hardship for many groups. This funding will provide up to $2,500 in relief per organization, with a total investment of up to $150,000 by the Municipality.”
To be eligible for the Emergency Assistance Fund for Community Facilities, the Applicant must demonstrate the following:
- The Applicant must be a non-profit (or not-for-profit) community, charitable, fraternal, educational, recreational, religious, cultural or sporting organization.
- The Applicant must own or operate a community facility or community hall that is use for hosting funding events and activities that are open to the general public and the community facility or community hall must be located within MODL with the exception of Royal Canadian Legion Branches which are located outside MODL.
- Royal Canadian Legion Branches which are not located in MODL may be eligible for funding provided that the Branch can demonstrate (1) that it has members who are residents in MODL or (2) that it serves residents of MODL.
- The Applicant must demonstrate that it has experienced a negative financial impact resulting from its inability to raise funds through planned fundraising events and activities that had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- In circumstances where more than one organization is involved in the fundraising event (i.e. one organization holds the event and the other organization provides the community facility or local hall), the hosting organizations is eligible to apply for the lost fundraising revenue notwithstanding the fact that it does not own or operate the community facility or community hall.
News release: Municipality Supports BLM, Graduations
- Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2020 13:26
June 23, 2020 / For Immediate Release
MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA – At the June 23, 2020 Council meeting, Council passed motions to donate to the Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund Nova Scotia, award sponsorships to three local graduation ceremonies, and grants to two comfort centres. Additionally, the Municipality awarded more than $70,000 in Annual Operating and Major Recreation Capital Grants and launched a new $150,000 Emergency Assistance Fund for Community Organizations to support organizations impacted by COVID-19 cancellations.
“The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt across every aspect of our community,” says Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We feel that it’s vitally important to increase our support for the community during this difficult time.”
1. Council approved a donation of $2,500 to Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund Nova Scotia
2. Council awarded the following three sponsorship grants:
- $2,500 in support of the PVEC 2020 Graduation Ceremony hosted by the LCLC.
- $1,000 in support of the New Germany High School 2020 Graduation Ceremony hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion – New Germany Branch.
- $230 in support of the CSAP 2020 Graduation Ceremony hosted by the Best Western Plus Bridgewater.
3. Council awarded the 2020/21 Comfort Centre Generator Grant to the Martin’s River Fire Dept. in the amount of $7,000 and to the Tri-District Fire Rescue for $7,000.
4. Council awarded $70,800 in Annual Operating and Major Recreation Capital Grants.
5. Council established an Emergency Assistance Fund for Community Organizations. This funding will provide up to $2,500 in relief per organization, with a total investment of up to $150,000 by the Municipality.
News release: Lunenburg County Accessibility Survey Launched
- Published: Monday, 01 June 2020 11:43
June 1, 2020 / For Immediate Release
LUNENBURG COUNTY, NOVA SCOTIA – The Lunenburg County Joint Accessibility Advisory Committee has launched an Accessibility Survey to hear from people with disabilities in Lunenburg County.
As part of the Committee’s efforts to develop improve accessibility in our region, it is vital that the Committee hears from the community about their experience living with disabilities. The survey will allow the Committee to identify barriers from the community perspective, and the information gathered will be part of the development of a regional Accessibility Plan.
If you are a person with a disability, family member or caretaker of someone with a disability, or an organization that represent people with disabilities, please complete the online survey at SurveyMonkey. The survey closes June 30, 2020.
The project is a collaboration between Town of Bridgewater, Town of Mahone Bay, Town of Lunenburg, Municipality of the District of Chester, and Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.