An ongoing boundary issue between Windsor and West Hants is getting closer to being resolved.
Within his first week at the helm of the Town of Windsor, Todd Richard ordered the removal of the concrete barricades between Underwood Drive and The Crossing’s Edward Drive, which is located in West Hants.
The barricades, which were installed June 1 as Windsor’s response to a-yet-to-be-named person who removed a portion of the town’s wooden fence that separated the roads, officially came down July 5.
Richard took over as Windsor’s interim chief administrative officer July 2.
With the Town of Windsor and Municipality of the District of West Hants working towards an April 2020 amalgamation, Richard said the timing seemed appropriate.
“I feel that this is a good step forward. We will be consolidating in less than nine months now,” said Richard.
Prior to the barricades coming down, Richard said he consulted with Windsor fire chief Jamie Juteau and Hants County Regional Emergency Management Organization co-ordinator Angela Henhoeffer.
“So they agreed with my approach and after those discussions, I ordered the removal of the concrete barriers and a lock was placed on the metal gate,” said Richard, noting he also spoke with West Hants CAO Martin Laycock.
West Hants council has been lobbying to have the barricades removed since they were installed.
Although the cement barricades are down, Underwood Drive and Edward Drive will not be open to traffic. An emergency gate, initially installed earlier this year by West Hants, is only accessible by firefighters, REMO, RCMP officers and the public works director and supervisors.
“The fire departments, both on the Brooklyn side and the Windsor side, have a universal key so they can get into any metal gate quite easily, if need be. They have the equipment to remove that quite quickly, so we have that in our response plan, if needed,” Richard added.
Paramedics, however, won’t have a key.
“The only issue with EHS is they could be responding from anywhere in the province because they... (help) cover off jurisdictions,” said Richard.
If paramedics require access, they will be advised who to contact and the gate would be unlocked “quite quickly.”
One of the main concerns expressed in recent years centered around having quick access into and out of The Crossing, a residential development for seniors and retired professionals, should there be an emergency that blocked the existing entrance to the community. Another concern was from Windsor citizens who worried their subdivision would become a racetrack should the roads be connected and opened to traffic.
Richard said there are no immediate plans to open up the roads to traffic.
Earlier this month, Hants West MLA Chuck Porter, who also serves as the provincial minister of Municipal Affairs and is responsible for the 911 Act and Emergency Management Act, called on the two municipalities to work together and come up with a plan to ensure the public’s safety. The former paramedic said he was concerned with the large barricades and gave the municipal units a week to respond. At the time, Porter said, “We’re going to come to a resolution here of some kind and in a timely fashion.”