NOEL: Pat Whidden won’t have to worry about being tasked with cleaning the compost toilet at the Lower Selma Museum any more.
That’s because with funding to assist the museum expand and become more accessible friendly from the federal government, she soon won’t have to do that.
“Prior to this funding allowing us to get a washroom, we had a compost toilet hidden away in a closet in the building,” said Whidden. “I no longer have to clean it out.”
She said the funding will allow the audience experience to be more.
“We will have an easily accessibly facility with a washroom,” she said.
Whidden said the Museum volunteers are grateful for the support of Blois, along with the many contractors who have helped out.
“This year is a major movement for us,” she said. “When we started doing the grant proposal writing so the CCRF came along at the right time to help us finish the project, to go along with other supportive grants and funding.”
The museum was one of three non-profit organizations to receive federal funding through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) totalling $72,786, announced by Kings-Hants MP Kody Blois on a beautiful Sunday morning along the Noel Shore at the Noel & District Volunteer Fire Department.
The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.
Blois announced that the East Hants Historical Society would receive $9,692 to construct an accessible walkway and washroom at the Lower Selma Museum and Cemetery. The additions will ensure all community members and visitors can enjoy the space, while preserving local history.
Also receiving funding was the Noel Fire Department to the tune of $33,540. The money will allow them to remove and replace the fire hall’s wooden exterior staircase, which is no longer safe to use.
The renovation will ensure the community can continue to use the hall’s upper-level multipurpose room for meetings, events, and extracurricular activities. The staircase will also serve as a fire escape for the building.
The East Noel Schoolhouse is being given $29,554 so the society that manages it can install a new metal roof, construct an accessible washroom, and complete electrical upgrades at the East Noel Schoolhouse.
The project supports the Society in operating the landmark building as a museum and community hub to promote wellbeing, as well as the heritage of the area.
Greene said he had talks with Blois over this project to fix the wooden exterior stairs, which he termed as starting to get a little shaky.
“It’s appreciated that we could access this funding to help keep the hall viable for awhile,” he said.
He said the funding is one less burden for them to have on their checklist.
“It’s one less thing for us to wonder where that money was going to come from,” said Greene, who said the next project for the department is to replace their fire rescue unit which is easily a $250k purchase. “It keeps the community space useful as without the upstairs fire escape we wouldn’t be allowed to use it.”
Blois said Kings-Hants is what he would call a rural constituency, and the type that get together at their local fire halls. During the pandemic there was no bean suppers or pancake breakfasts able to be held, key fundraisers for community groups.
“Places like this firehall are extremely important in bringing people together, and they serve as a center piece of the community, whether it’s a legion or a community hall,” said Blois.
“We want to make sure smaller communities across Canada, from B.C. to Newfoundland and Labrador, feel like their priorities are understood.”