The advisory committee formed to save the rail line in Cape Breton will meet for the first time, today. The committee is made up of representatives from the business community as well as the three levels of government. It was formed after the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway announced plans to abandon the Point Tupper to Sydney stretch of the line. Its parent company Genesee & Wyoming will also meet with the advisory committee but provincial Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan says a date hasn’t yet been set. The company says it plans to apply to abandon the line on October 1st because it’s losing money on the operation. Today’s meeting gets underway at 3:00 this afternoon at the ACOA office in Sydney.
Provincial finance minister Diana Whalen will provide an updated budget forecast, today. In June, audited financial statements for 2013-14 revealed the province’s deficit had ballooned to $678.9 million. Whalen projected a deficit of $279 million when she tabled the spring budget in April. She’s already warned that the province is in a tough financial situation because of an unexpected drop in revenues, higher departmental expenses and a one-time adjustment to the public service pension plan. Whalen will unveil the update in Halifax early this afternoon.
Regional Police are reminding drivers about traffic flow and parking restrictions in the area of today’s Cape Fest concert featuring Aerosmith. At noon, the concert venue at Open Hearth Park on the former Sydney Steel plant site will be closed to traffic. Ferry Street will be blocked from the Sydney Port Access Road or SPAR all the way through to the Ferry Street bridge. Surrounding roads beyond the perimeter of the concert site will be open to traffic. However, there will be no parking allowed on several of those streets . People driving to the concert are being encouraged to make use of public parking that’s available at the former Tartan Downs from where they’ll take a shuttle to the concert site. Concert gates will open at 2:00 this afternoon and it’s suggested that concert-goers take one bottle of water without a cap, sunblock and a lawn chair. Concert organizers are expecting upwards of 15-thousand people for the event.
A Glace Bay man is the first person to say they’ll run to fill the Regional Council seat vacated by Darren Bruckschwaiger. Darrell Flynn manages the Swiss Chalet in Sydney and also sits on the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. Regional Council will set the date for the District 10 bye-election at its meeting later this month. Three other people say they’re considering running for the seat. Former councillors Lee McNeil and Vince Hall as well as former District 10 candidate Dave MacKeigan all say they might throw their hats in the ring.
Cape Breton Regional has voted to pay to demolish the North Sydney Forum.
Engineering firm CBCL estimates that tearing down the former ice rink will cost between $165,000 and $195,000.
The CBRM will have to borrow the money for the job and take over ownership of the building from the North Sydney Community Forum Society.
North Sydney councillor Charlie Keagan moved the motion calling for the municipality to acquire the property at no cost to the CBRM and pay for the demolition.
The municipality will look to recover some of the cost of the demolition through the sale of the property.
Keagan says the large tract of land will make good use as a new housing development.
Another potential use is turning the site into a marshalling yard for commercial trucks at the nearby Marine Atlantic ferry terminal.