July 15, 2016
The last few months have been extremely busy for Council and myself as all of the committees and boards that Council members are appointed to attempt to get their meetings and projects lined up, as a result of the difficulty to meet during the summer months due to vacation schedules.
Town Council has received a couple of presentations and administration has had significant discussions with a company called Axia over the last few months. Axia is an internet service provider who also installs fibre optic internet into communities who don’t currently have fibre. Fibre is the highest speed internet that you can receive. To put it in layman’s terms it’s like having a ½” water line, then upgrading to an 8” water line, giving you much more volume or in this case a much faster internet service. Axia is proposing to install the fibre infrastructure at their cost in the Town of Hanna and become an internet service provider. There are many variables that Council needs to consider in regard to Axia’s proposal. While it is hard to say no to free, Council does not want to make any hasty decisions when it comes to the future of fibre optic broadband internet; as the decision we make needs to be in the best interests of not only the Town of Hanna, but also for the whole region. In my opinion, we need to take time to weigh all of our options before we proceed with any fibre optic projects; but that doesn’t mean that this project gets put on the back burner. Council does understand that fibre is the way of the future and it has the potential to provide significant benefits to residents and business owners, as well as making the community an attractive place to relocate.
Climate Change Taskforce
On another note, the Climate Change taskforce has been very busy with meetings to decide the next steps to be taken to secure the future of our region. The task force has agreed that it is necessary to complete a couple of studies. One study is to analyze the impacts to our region of the impending closure of the Sheerness generating station and Westmoreland Coal and a second study is to investigate what potential economic opportunities may be available for our region. The task force is pleased to report that following a public Request for Proposals call there were a significant number of proposals received. The proposals have been short listed with interviews conducted and the successful consulting firm is Urban Systems. The studies are to be completed and the reports provided by October of this year. These reports will be very beneficial to us, so if you are approached by the consultants we hope that you spend some time with them to discuss your views on the future of our region. It would also be very valuable if you would attend any open houses or town hall meetings that will be hosted through these consultation periods. Please watch for details on the consultation opportunities in the coming weeks.
I would like to say that “It is an honour to serve the Town of Hanna as your Mayor”. I take great pride in being able to tell people that I am your representative. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that the future of Hanna is secure.
In conclusion, I would like to commend the Town of Hanna staff for organizing another spectacular Canada Day celebration. Well done.
Chris Warwick , Mayor