PORT HAWKESBURY: In an effort to improve safety, the Town of Port Hawkesbury is providing a little bit of a boost to Strait Area Transit (SAT).

During the regular municipal meeting on November 4, Port Hawkesbury Town Council unanimously passed a motion that approved a $2,100 funding request to SAT.

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, the town’s mayor, said the funding – which is a joint funding effort between Richmond Country, the Town of Port Hawkesbury, and Inverness County – will help improve the service and modernize controls.

“That contribution would be going towards a one-time spend on GPS technology for the fleet of buses in our partnership-catchment area,” she said. “In efforts to improve the safety of the of the way the service is done, as well as to ensure safety is being carried out by the drivers, the GPS will measure speed and identify where the busses are at any given time.”

The funding will also be earmarked to include improvements to SAT’s Web site, new phones for their office and uniforms for the staff.

Councillor Trevor Boudreau raised his concerns whether or not the funding request was budgeted for by SAT, or if they had prior plans ahead of time, but ultimately supported the motion.

The director of finance, Erin MacEachen, said currently the town provides space at no charge both at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, for SAT’s administrative office, as well as the Creamery Building for SAT’s garage space.

“My feeling around this, this would be considered a donation; we don’t have a line item for transit expenses,” she said. “Right now, we have a remaining budget not spent for about $3,200, as of the end of October.”

In addition to Port Hawkesbury’s $2,100 contribution, SAT has asked Richmond County for $2,100 and the Municipality of the County of Inverness for $2,700.