Dorchester Council Meeting – January 18, 2010

Dorchester council welcomed the presentation from the New Brunswick Provincial Capital Commission on Monday night, and made plans to collaborate with the Commission on planned events for Dorchester’s upcoming 100 th anniversary.

The Capital Commission’s mandate is to increase pride and understanding of New Brunswick’s history and political system as well as welcome newcomers to the province and recognize the diversity of the cultures that are a part of our provincial history.

In the very successful program, ‘Capital Encounters’, the Commission has promoted and subsidized school visits to the Capital city of Fredericton. Lee Ellen Pottie, Executive Director of the Provincial Capital Commission, created partnerships with the local universities so that school children could have affordable room and board while visiting Fredericton and the local sights. The school children are required to visit the Legislative Assembly during the trip, and contribute to a final report.

Lee Ellen Pottie says that the program is a “godsend for teachers because without the help of the subsidy it would be difficult to afford such a trip”. One school group from the Miramichi created a video as their final report while other schools have sent in letters and cards from the children to the members of the Legislative Assembly.

Some of the children were shocked by the lack of decorum in the assembly and, according to Lee Ellen, one child wrote “That he felt at home in the Legislative Assembly because it was like a classroom”.

Other projects being brewed up by this team are Capital Quest, an on-line tool which would teach about the levels of government, key figures, offices and symbols. And they are also working on special celebrations for New Brunswick Day with a ‘Pride in our Youth’ theme.

Dorchester’s council was enthusiastic about combining their upcoming 100th anniversary with the Capital Commissions’ planned events. Family oriented celebrations planned for New Brunswick Day would include a writing and drawing contest for children on the ‘Pride in our Youth’ theme. The prize for the winning submission would be an all costs paid trip to another city in New Brunswick.

Mayor Mel Goodland also expressed interest in the Commission ‘s ‘Promenade of Premiers’, a panel that shows the faces and a short biography of the thirty New Brunswick Premiers since Confederation. These panels will be on permanent display in the Government House, University of New Brunswick and the Centennial Building. Mayor Goodland suggested that Dorchester have its own panel as at least two of N.B.’s Premiers have called Dorchester their home at one point.

One of the Capital Commission’s projects from last year was still on display at the village office; festive Christmas lights. The project, Lights Across the Province, distributed LEDS lights at an affordable cost to seventy eight communities across the province.

On the budget:
Increases to the budget were seen in RCMP costs, Tantramar Planning District Commission payments and insurance for firefighters. A surplus from two years ago kept the budget balanced and allowed the tax rate to be maintained at 1.4833. The total budget was 835.673 and the warrant to be raised was 554,374.

Mayor Goodland commented that Fire Chief Greg Partridge was in an uncommonly good mood during the meeting. He explained that this was the result of having $25,000 of the budget directed at the fire department for insurance compensation, approved equipment acquisitions, a new defibrillator, and the future costs of maintaining and improving fire hydrants.

Mayor Mel Goodland also commented that the New Year’s Levee “Had an excellent turn out. There were visitors from Moncton, Sackville, Memramcook, and even Australia” He said it was nice to see all the visitors enjoying the beautifully decorated Keillor House and enjoying the spectacle of the Polar Dip.

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