GUYSBOROUGH: The lines of communication remain open.

Municipality of the District of Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts said staff is still communicating with the province in regards to a letter of intent concerning the proposed dissolution of the Town of Mulgrave.

“We’re assuming the [Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board] hearings are going to take place but our CAO is still negotiating and in contact, if not daily than weekly, with the provincial government,” said Pitts. “As long as we’re talking and negotiating, we’re making headway. We’re not dead in the water.”

Pitts maintains he would rather resolve the matter of the letter of intent before the hearings begin.

Back in May, council passed a motion opposing the dissolution of the Town of Mulgrave “on the terms set out in the letter of intent proposed by the province.” The motion stated council is not opposed to the dissolution in principle but the proposed letter of intent provided insufficient funding to bring the infrastructure in Mulgrave to acceptable standards and to support Guysborough in assuming Mulgrave’s obligations.

When asked about the sticking points in negotiations, Pitts said a major one is responsibility for Route 344 going through Mulgrave.

“There’s bit of leeway on other issues,” said Pitts. “The highway is the major issue.”

The UARB aside March 20-23, and scheduled evening sessions for March 20 and 21, as hearing dates for both Mulgrave and Guysborough.

The deadline for filing comments by the public and requests to speak at the evening session is February 21.

Mulgrave interim CAO Kevin Matheson recently guessed dissolution could see a three month delay if a letter of intent isn’t signed between the town, the province, and the municipality. He said a letter of intent signed by the time of the hearing might lead to a normal turnaround on the decision.

Matheson suggested if the board couldn’t get a decision done in time to dissolve the town by the end of June, it could mean dissolution around September 30.