Street upgrades, Regional Service Commission concerns priorities for Dorchester in 2014

Joan LeBlanc
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DORCHESTER, NB – The upgrading of streets over the next year is just one of the priorities of the village of Dorchester.

Mayor J.J. Bear said recently that the village is looking forward to the challenges ahead in 2014.

“We’re hoping to get the paving done, not just patching, on Water, Harrop and Church streets. We might not be able to get all of Water Street resurfaced, but a good portion of it,” he noted.

Bear noted council would like to see more activities taking place in the village, but that would require more volunteers to come forward to help organize and carry out events.

“We’d like to see more people coming out to help. Events like the Shiretown Festival and the Sandpiper Festival could be bigger and better but there has to be more participation. It’s tough because our population is aging and there are fewer younger people moving into the village, so it’s hard to attract more volunteers,” he said.

Completion of the new roof for St. Ed’s Hall has allowed for more events to take place there, he said, noting a lot of major repairs have been done on the building, with only a few smaller projects to be undertaken.

“We’re looking at perhaps installing natural gas heating in the building; the fire hall has already been converted and that’s made heating it much more efficient,” Bear added.

The implementation of the Regional Service Commissions throughout the province over the past year has also caused some concerns as to how the proposed changes will effect the village of Dorchester, he added.

“The whole process (of implementation) is still unfolding. We do have input, in fact that’s working out better than I had anticipated. Right now though, they are moulding us to do things and it’s still not clear how these things will be funded. It will be interesting to watch how it all moves forward, particularly since this is a provincial election year,” Bear noted.

Moving forward with regards to digital technology is also of interest to the village within the next year and for the years to come.

“The use of digital technology saves a lot of space, and we don’t have a lot of space at the village office. We’ll be giving more thought to tightening up efficiency in a variety of ways in Dorchester; also with the possible construction of a storage building to better house village maintenance equipment. There’s a lot of things council will be working on in 2014,” he added.

Organizations: Harrop and Church, Regional Service Commissions

Geographic location: Dorchester, Water Street

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