ARICHAT: Although they want staff to investigate further, councillors were open to a proposal from the Nova Scotia Community College to use municipal property for training.

During the committee-of-the-whole meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on May 13 in Arichat, interim Richmond Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Don Marchand told council about a request from the NSCC Strait Area Campus for permission to use Richmond County’s Joint Industrial Park to train students in the heavy equipment operator program.

The request was sent from Port Hawkesbury CAO Terry Doyle, on behalf of the Strait Area Campus. Doyle said the town supports the idea and writes that it could be beneficial to Richmond County.

“They can do maybe some clean up and take care of the outgrown areas in the park itself and it would be good to provide some support for the college,” the interim CAO told council.

Despite being moved by District 1 councillor James Goyetche and seconded by District 5 councillor Jason MacLean, District 4 councillor Gilbert Boucher said he is not opposed to the idea, but does have some concerns about their plans for the property.

“I want to know what kind of condition they’re going to leave that property in,” Boucher said. “My experience going around the country seeing these training facilities, they certainly do leave an awful mess.”

Boucher requested council establish some demands for the property before giving their consent.

Calling it a “great idea,” District 2 councillor Alvin Martell said potential liability issues also need to be cleared up before any approval is granted.

Richmond Warden Brian Marchand agreed, pointing out there are water, sewer and power services in that area as well and there have to be contingencies for any damage to municipal infrastructure.

Council agreed to investigate the school’s plans for the property, as well as any liability issues that might arise from their use.