HANTSPORT, N.S. – A Nova Scotia town that has lost manufacturing employers in recent years has become the province’s latest rural community to vote for dissolution of its municipal status.
The Hantsport town council issued a news release Wednesday evening saying once the town is officially dissolved, it could join one of two neighbouring municipalities in the Annapolis Valley.
Mayor Robbie Zwicker said in an interview the goal would be for the community of about 1,100 people to have joined another municipality by April 1 of next year.
Zwicker says the town lost key employers Fundy Gypsum and Minas Basin Pulp and Paper over the last six years and its tax revenues have fallen by about one third.
“You can’t sustain such major economic hits and still survive,” said Zwicker.
“We can run the town but we can’t maintain it to the level we think we should. It’s an opportunity to … move on into a different phase.”
The shutdown of the Minas Basin factory in 2012 resulted in the loss of 135 jobs, although some former employees were offered jobs at CKF Inc., a local paper and foam plate manufacturer.
Hantsport’s decision comes after Bridgetown, the home community of Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, voted on April 1 to dissolve its municipal status, and Springhill, once famous for its coal mines, took the same action on March 4.