There’s no better way to start this report than to say “Our ship is on her way!” The Nova Star has left Singapore en route to Yarmouth. Want to keep tabs on her travel? Go to http://www.vesselfinder .com/?imo=9462067. The terminal lease with Nova Star has been signed, booking rates are just about ready to go online, the work on the terminal is on track and everyone involved on both sides of the border is in “full steam ahead” mode. Mark Muise has been hired by Nova Star as Yarmouth Terminal Operations Manager and Julie Walters (former YASTA GM) is Director of the Nova Star Directory Program. Nova Scotia company www.intergy.ca has been hired to work with them as well. Further company jobs are listed through the Service Canada’s Job Bank at http://www.jobbank.gc.ca.
The “All Hands on Deck” followup meeting was held this past week and the response was phenomenal. Well over 200 showed up at the Rodd Grand and heard updates on working teams, donated their time, money and talents and signed up for specific initiatives. Councillor Mooney gave one heck of a comprehensive update on what the Town of Yarmouth is doing to move forward and there was little doubt in anyone’s mind after his presentation that we’re serious about making the changes that will make positive impacts on both our visitors and citizens. My hope is that we can post that list to our website asap so the community is more aware of what we’ve been accomplishing! Of course participants were surprised at a number of exciting announcements. The Peepers project was announced – go to www.yarmouthpeepers.com and check it out! Rob MacLeod updated the crowd on the $10 coin project of the Chamber of Commerce. The Maudify Yarmouth project is in full force. The Chamber of Commerce had another announcement in the form of $118,000 funding received from Economic and Rural Development (thank you!) for customer service training, and they’ll hire the best in the field to ensure we’re ready for visitors. Kent Building Supplies announced the $10,000 “Before and After” contest which you’ll hear more about very soon – in the meantime, be thinking about how to improve your property or business! We heard that the Alwood Building will get a fresh coat of paint and a mural. And finally, Karen Churchill of Web.com announced to an excited crowd that they are committed to making the Town of Yarmouth the first place in Canada to have all businesses online. Unbelievable. That’s just a bit of what happened at the meeting and teams continue to work hard on their projects. The atmosphere was positive, participants were excited to continue to make Yarmouth County a welcome place for our guests, and the final calls will be made in the next couple weeks. Thank you to Warden Goodwin and Warden D’Entremont for attending and showing that Yarmouth County is in this together. Our partners are the BEST.
In moving forward of course we know the importance of the budget and I believe it’s appropriate to say thank you to our CAO and CFO for the amazing work they’ve done throughout this budget process. We have done things a bit differently this year, had more meetings with more indepth discussions about where we see the Town going and how we will get there. And while the process is not yet finished, what I see ahead is a budget that will provide us the tools to get on track towards becoming a town we envision: open and inviting to businesses new and established, where we don’t only wait for them to come to us, but where we actively seek out business and make it easy for them to set up - a town where WE set the standard for the quality of life for all age groups – where the quality of our infrastructure sets us apart – a town that will have visitors saying “I wish I lived there” and residents saying “I’m so glad I do”. It’s doable and we’re on the right track.
One thing we all agree helps draw people to an area is the doctor situation. We’ve heard through a series of press releases that we’ve had a number of doctors come to the area but if I pull it all together, this is what that looks like: We have had seven family physicians and five specialists start work in Yarmouth County roughly in the last year: 12 in 12 months! As well, planning began last July for the start of the Dalhousie University Family Medicine residency program. This is teaching program where 5 physicians who have completed medical school will come to South West Health starting 1 July 2014 to complete 2 years of family medicine training. Amazing.
We continue to meet with our municipal partners regarding shared services and we are always looking for more ways to make things more efficient and cost-effective.
Because there is so much going on, the Entrepreneur’s Forum has been pushed back and a date will be announced soon. Plans are underway and it’ll be great to have both those with questions and those with answers in the same room. Look for a new date soon!
There’s lots more on the go but those are some highlights. From discussions with many of you I know there is excitement in the air. I’m not exaggerating when I say the world is watching us – let’s give them the positive. It’s ultimately who we are! Happy Spring!