LANTZ: As the dust blew across the Peter Smith Memorial Ball Field in Lantz on a hot, sunny day June 27, Premier Iain Rankin announced the province is supporting five community organizations across East Hants with various projects.
At the announcement, Premier Rankin told a small crowd—who were socially distancing—that the province was investing $743,000 in projects that will see ballfield upgrades in Lantz; trail work in Nine Mile River and Hants North area; energy efficient improvements for the Milford Recreation Association; and the community hall at the Walton Shore Fire Department.
“By investing in sports and recreation facilities, we are investing in communities and helping people of all ages maintain active, healthy lifestyles,” said Premier Rankin. “As a government, one of our priorities is to ensure all Nova Scotians have opportunities to enjoy a lifestyle that will lead them to better health.”
Premier Rankin acknowledged the strong advocacy of Kings-Hants MP Kody Blois in ensuring these projects came to the province and were priorities to receive funding from the province.
“When Kody came to me to today with some of the projects we’re announcing today, I was happy to be a partner,” he said. “It’s great to see the municipality involved as the good stewards operating recreational facilities.”
Tyler Dauphine said the $134,565 that the Nine Mile River Trails Association will receive will go towards upgrades of their parking lot to allow for more users and for trail expansion.
“We’d like to thank the province, the municipality, and Kody because without him, he’s the one who put all of us together and got the ball rolling,” he said.
“We’re super excited to expand our parking lot and trail system to ensure our users have a safer and enjoyable experience.
Robin Isenor, from Lantz Rec Society, spoke of the $73,650 for a switch to LED lighting at the ballfield along with drainage and road repairs.
“On behalf of the Lantz Recreation Society, I’d like tot hank Premier Rankin and his Liberal government for the funding they’re providing to the Peter Smith Memorial ball field along with all of the other community groups represented here today,” he said.
“This financial commitment will ensure that the youth and all community members of Lantz and all of the Municipality of East Hants will be able to enjoy the various programs, facilities, and establishments that are represented here today.”
Sandra Watson said Milford Rec will use it’s $284,000 towards energy efficient improvements as part of the volunteer group’s Net-zero initiative.
“It was through our meetings with MP Kody Blois that the project became known to the province and municipality,” said Watson. “We’ve met with all levels, and they’ve all been incredibly supportive. It’s going to make a huge difference to our facility and operating cost
“We’ll be able to reduce our costs and invest that back into our facilities for recreation.”
In Walton Shore, the fire department’s community hall is the focal point of the Walton community, a venue for pancake breakfasts and other community events. The investment will make improvements to the kitchen and other areas to ensure the hall is open to all to use and enjoy for years to come.
The hall is located on the shoreline and the rising sea level has caused flooding. The work being done will help to protect the building from water surges.
Premier Rankin said the volunteer fire department is receiving $37,532 for drainage system and community hall improvements.
The Hants North Development Association received $213,756 investment towards trail development at Findley Park in North Noel Road. No one from the association was in Lantz.
Municipality of East Hants Warden Eleanor Roulston thanked the province for the investment into the projects. She also thanked MP Blois who was a strong advocate for each project in talks with the province.
“Thousands of East Hants residents will benefit from the co-operation of multiple levels of government,” said Roulston. “Our municipality is proud to be working together with the community groups who will propel these projects forward.”