Mayor Mills pleased with Truro’s overall position at No. 13
TRURO – The Town of Truro has ranked number 13 out of 55 Nova Scotia municipalities in the overall summary of a market studies report.
Colchester County ranked directly behind, in the 14th spot, in the second annual provincial municipal report published Wednesday by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS). The Town of Stewiacke, meanwhile, ranked 36th.
“I’m pleased with it,” Truro Mayor Bill Mills said of the town’s overall ranking.
“There’s certainly room for improvement and I think that we know that and steps are being taken to address it.”
That comment was directed at the fact that Truro ranked 47th in the economic development category, while Colchester came in at No. 23 and Stewiacke came in at the 14th spot.
“This report shows us, once again, that governing is about choices but not all choices are created equal,” said report co-author and AIMS Policy Analyst Jamie Newman. “The challenge now is for the public to consider the choices their governments have made, and decide if they were the right ones. Are you happy paying more for lower service levels if it means you buy locally? Are you happy having fewer parks if it means you get better recycling?”
The report grades and ranks each municipality on its efficiency – ability to keep costs low – and effectiveness – deliver high quality services – in seven categories: governance and finance, taxation, safety and protection, environment, transportation, economic development and recreation and culture.
Across the province, the Town of Lockeport recorded the the lowest economic development costs, while Annapolis Royal had the highest. Parrsboro recorded the most effective economic development numbers while Annapolis Royal came in last in that category.
In economic development effectiveness Truro ranked in the No. 25 position while Colchester came in at No. 6. Stewiacke ranked No. 13.
“I’m not too worried about that because I think it’s going to change significantly,” Mills said, regarding Truro’s economic development standing.
“Probably in the next year if things go according to plan. I can’t elaborate on it too much right at the moment but I am very confident there will be some substantive changes there.”
Neither Mills nor Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor had had a proper chance to review the findings before being asked for comment. Stewiacke Mayor Derek Rhoddy was out of province.
Regarding Colchester’s summary ranking in the 14th spot, Taylor said he questions how some of the findings are compiled, and without a chance to properly review the information he could not comment on specific categories. But he said the report will be studied and its results taken into consideration.
“You always like to be number one but when you look at it, yeah, there’s things that we should be looking at, how we’re viewed from the outside,” he said. “So we take these into consideration and make changes where we can.”
But he did question Colchester’s ranking of 22 out of 55 in the environment efficiency category and 20 of 25 in the environment effectiveness ranking.
“We have five waste water treatment plants and they all meet or exceed the standards that are going to be in place and we’re one of the few that do that. We have secondary treatment at all our plants, so environmentally we should be pretty good,” he said. “I don’t know how they rate those.”
Other results include:
Colchester – Efficency, 23 of 55. Effectiveness, 6 of 55;
Truro – Efficency, 27 of 55. Effectiveness, 28 of 55;
Stewiacke – Efficency, 43 of 55. Effectiveness, 51 of 55.
Governance and Finance:
Colchester – Efficency, 4 of 55. Effectiveness, 24 of 55;
Truro – Efficency, 7 of 55. Effectiveness, 12 of 55;
Stewiacke – Efficency, 43 of 55. Effectiveness, 36 of 55.
Safety and Protection
Colchester – Efficency, 10 of 55. Effectiveness, 25 of 55;
Truro – Efficency, 29 of 55. Effectiveness, 40 of 55;
Stewiacke – Efficency, 6 of 55. Effectiveness, N/A.
Colchester – Efficency, 46 of 55. Effectiveness, N/A;
Truro – Efficency, 34 of 55. Effectiveness, N/A;
Stewiacke – Efficency, 50 of 55. Effectiveness, N/A.
Colchester – Efficency, 22 of 55. Effectiveness, 20 of 55;
Truro – Efficency, N/A. Effectiveness, 5 of 55;
Stewiacke – Efficency, 33 of 55. Effectiveness, 21 of 55.
Recreation and Culture:
Colchester – Efficency, 25 of 55. Effectiveness, N/A;
Truro – Efficency, 27 of 55. Effectiveness, N/A;
Stewiacke – Efficency, 18 of 55. Effectiveness, N/A.