Town Councillor Bill Evans says “The only resolution I’ve made this year is not to make any resolutions.” Nonetheless, he looks forward at the coming year, and discusses some changes we might be able to expect in the Town of Sackville.

What will become of the former fire hall building that stands vacant on Main Street? The building is held by the Town, who recently posted a “for sale” sign on the building in hopes of attracting entrepreneurs to purchase the building. Evans says an undisclosed number of businesses and community groups responded for a request for proposals to acquire the building last year, but none of the offers made were satisfactory. What of Councillor Shawn Mesheau’s suggestion made during a special meeting of council that the building be transformed into a mixed-use space for a farmers market and other community functions? According to Evans, there are a lot of ideas flying around, but the Town should not take an active approach to filling the space. He says he’s concerned that the structural integrity of the building might make it an unattractive investment to community groups looking to use the space on a small budget, who might end up “spending their equity” by acquiring a deteriorating building they can’t afford to maintain.

Evans cited the former Atlantic Wholesale building, which currently houses Moneris, one of Sackville’s largest employers, as an example of a structure acquired by the Town that was eventually purchased by a private investor seeking to employ people in Sackville. Could the former fire hall meet a similar fate?

What can Sackvillians expect from the proposed redevelopment of Bridge Street this year? The Town has included a million-dollar capital expenditure to overhaul downtown Sackville in their 2015 budget, but is waiting for matching funds from the province. When roadwork begins, what will it mean for local businesses ? Evans says that the redevelopment project will most probably be carried out this year, and is likely to be disruptive to local businesses, but the end result will be worth it.

Listen to the full interview here.