Dorchester Council Meeting – November 15, 2010

An unforeseen problem is emerging from Federal government’s controversial decision to close all six prison farms across Canada. As the buildings come down one by one at the prison farm at the minimum security Westmorland Institution in Dorchester, rats, which once lived unnoticed among the farm animals, are being displaced and are turning up in the basements of local homes.

“No one wants to say that they have rats”, said resident Amy Cormier to council last light, “but Mayor Mel Goodman has said to come to him if we had a problem, and we have a problem”.  Residents are concerned that since not all the buildings have been demolished the rat problem is only going to get worse.  “With every building that comes down there is going to be hundreds of rats on the run”, said Cormier.

Councilor Kim MacLeod expressed frustration at the closing of the farm, ‘They said the prison farm was not cost effective, but tell me, what is cost effective about a prison”? Councilor Grant MacDonald said that the council needed to demand a meeting with Corrections Services Canada to resolve the issue before it got worse. He reminded residents to keep receipts for any costs that they were incurring to exclude the rats from their homes.

Fire Chief Greg Partridge and Doug Hammer , the retired fire chief from Riverview, gave a presentation to council last night regarding the necessity of replacing the 1986 pumper –tanker used by the Dorchester Fire Department, explaining that insurance companies do not want to insure fire trucks over twenty years old.  The council agreed on the specs of the new pumper tanker, with its estimated cost of $ 350,000, and planned to put it to legal tender, saying it will be at least a year before the truck can be built and purchased.

Fire Chief Greg Partridge, who attends the meetings for Westmorland- Albert  Solid Waste Corporation, reported to council that 2000 pounds of hazardous household waste had been collected from 18 communities, which included 321 skids of paint and 27 barrels of spray cans, reminding council that “ 15-20 years ago that all would have gone into the dump.”

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