FAQs

  • 1. Resident Questions
  • 2. Visiting East Hants
  • 3. Contacting East Hants
  • 4. Business Questions
  • 5. Council Business Questions
  • 6. Procurement
Resident Questions
Visiting East Hants
Contacting East Hants
Business Questions
Council Business Questions
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  • 1. Who repairs street lights?
     

    Street lights that are owned by the Municipality of East Hants are to be reported to the Municipality if they are malfunctioning.  You can report a broken or malfunctioning streetlight to the Municipality by e-mailing streetlights@easthants.ca or by calling 1-866-758-2299 x 103.

    A streetlight is typically owned by the Municipality if it is located on a wooden NSPI pole, it is a LED (Light Emitting Diode) type fixture, and it is road way facing.

    A streetlight is typically privately owned if it is facing away from the roadway toward private property or driveway, or if it is located away from the street/road on private property, or if it is not a LED type fixture.

    Privately owned streetlights/security lights that are rented from Nova Scotia Power are to be reported to NSPI when they are malfunctioning. (You can report a broken or malfunctioning street light to NSPI by calling 1-877-428-6004 and selecting option 3 or by filling out an electronic form on their website.)

    MUNICIPALITY OF EAST HANTS REPORTING PROCEDURE:

    You can report a broken or malfunctioning streetlight to the Municipality by e-mailing streetlights@easthants.ca or by calling 1-866-758-2299 x 103.

    Please provide the following information when reporting a malfunctioning streetlight.

    DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM

    • First & Last name
    • Phone Number
    • Description of Problem:
      • Single fixture out
      • Multiple Fixtures out
      • Lights within the fixture are out (e.g. one strip of lights on one side of the fixture is lit and the other is out)
      • Light flickering / strobe effect
      • Light on during the day
      • Broken or damaged arm/bracket
      • Other (please describe)

    LOCATION OF PROBLEM

    • Street address
    • Nearest Intersection
    • Community
    • Description of where the streetlight is located:
      • In front of the address indicated
      • Across the road from the address indicated
      • Additional descriptive information that may be helpful with details of how the light may be located (e.g. relation to landmarks, or how many poles from an intersection or landmark etc.
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  • 2. Is there financial assistance for children to participate in recreation programs?
     

    The Municipality has two programs that provide financial assistance for children to participate in extra-curricular activities - Kidsport and Jumpstart.

    KidSport™ Canada is a national not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance for registration fees and equipment to kids aged 18 and under. Through a confidential application process we provide grants so they can play a season of sport. One of our primary goals is to support our network of 11 provincial/territorial KidSport chapters and 177 community KidSport chapters across Canada in their fundraising and sport activities.

    Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a national charitable program that helps financially disadvantaged kids participate in organized sport and recreation. We help cover registration, equipment and/or transportation costs. They also lend support to unique initiatives aimed at increasing access to sport and recreation programs. Since its launch in 2005, Canadian Tire Jumpstart has given 300,000 kids across Canada the chance to play.

    For more information on these programs, please contact the Parks, Recreation & Culture Department at 902-883-3387.

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  • 3. Are permits required for my building project?
     

    You require a building permit for the following:

    • New homes or mini homes
    • Relocating a dwelling or mobile/mini home
    • Constructing an addition onto any home or building
    • Constructing a garage or storage shed greater than 20 sq. m (215 sq. ft)
      (* Please note: if you are in a zoned area you will be required to apply for a development permit for structures greater than 9 sq. m)
    • Any structural renovations to an existing dwelling or building
    • Any non-structural renovations that exceed $10,000 in monetary value
    • Any change of use in an existing building. (ie. single unit dwelling to a two unit dwelling)

    Building permits ensure buildings are constructed using the proven safety standards and materials of the National Building Code.

    To make a full application for a building permit the following information is required:

    • Floor plans, building elevations, cross sections
    • Plot plan/site plan
    • Lot grading plan (when lands are located where municipal water and wastewater services are provided)
    • Copy of approvals from other government agencies, where required (Nova Scotia Environment for septic and Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for road access).

    NOTE: A location certificate is also required by a surveyor once the footings have been installed.

    Development permits are issued along with building permits to ensure that the development meets the requirements of the planned area of the Municipal Land Use Bylaw. Generally, Mount Uniacke, Enfield, Elmsdale, Lantz, Milford, Shubenacadie, and a part of East Gore are located in the planned area. Outside of the planned area is the Wind Energy Zone where only wind turbines require development permits.

    Please call 902.883.3387 to arrange an appointment for your building permit.

     

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  • 4. How do I get my water tested?
     

    If you are inside the water distribution serviced area (Enfield, Elmsdale, Lantz and Shubenacadie) you may call the Municipality at 902-883-2299 during 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday and ask to speak with the Supervisor of Drinking Water Operations or the Manager of Water & Wastewater.

    Actual water chemistry and distribution system data is obtained on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for the entire system and reported quarterly to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment.

    If you live outside the serviced area and you have your own well system, you may contact either AGAT Laboratories at 902-468-8718 or Maxxam Analytics at 902-420-0203 to obtain a sample kit and complete an analysis at your own expense.

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  • 5. What if my water is discoloured?
     

    If your water is discoloured, the first thing to do is run your hot water tap and fill a clear glass.

    If there is colour to the water then it is likely that your hot water tank has sediment in it and it needs to be flushed out. If there is no colour from the hot water tap but there is when you run the cold water, then please call the Municipality at 902-883-2299 during 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday and ask to speak with the Supervisor of Drinking Water Operations or the Manager of Water & Wastewater.

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  • 6. What to do about issues with a landlord?
     

    The provincial Residential Tenancies program helps landlords and tenants understand their rights, and exercise those rights when necessary. The Government of Nova Scotia Residential Tenancies site will answer your questions and provide you with the information you need.

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  • 7. Where can I find job listings?
     

    Here are a few suggestions where you can find jobs in Nova Scotia:

    Municipality of East Hants

    Futureworx

    Province of Nova Scotia

    Government of Canada

    CareerBeacon

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  • 8. Which school board serves East Hants?
     

    Schools in East Hants are now part of the Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education. Elected school boards were dissolved in 2018.

    The Chignecto-Central Regional Centre for Education serves four areas in Central and Northern Nova Scotia. They are named Families of Schools. The Nova Family encompasses schools in the Municipality of East Hants, of which there are fourteen elementary schools, one middle school, and three high schools.  There are also four Adult High Schools in Chignecto-Central; one in each Family of Schools.

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  • 9. How to report an illegal dump site
     

    To report an illegal dump in your community call the Solid Waste Hotline at 1-888-873-3332.

    The Municipality investigates reports of illegal dumping and work to have the sites cleaned.

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  • 10. What is a state of emergency?
     

    The Emergency Management Act allows for two separate types of states of emergencies. The first is known as a “Local State of Emergency” and is enacted by a Municipal Government either through a resolution of council, or by the direct request of the Municipal Mayor or Warden.

    The second type is a “State of Emergency” which is declared by the Minister responsible for Emergency Management.

    States of Emergencies can be declared for a specific portion or for an entire jurisdiction (i.e. a specific geographical portion of the province or province wide).

    Why is a state of emergency called?

    A state of emergency provides the authority to do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of people and the protection of property and the environment.

    More specifically, a state of emergency permits:

    • Control or prohibit of travel
    • Entry without warrant
    • Ordered Evacuation
    • Confiscation of property
    • Order of assistance

    How are citizens affected by a state of emergency?

    During states of emergencies the public is expected to listen to and follow the instruction given by authorities, and to comply with any orders given by the Province.

    These may include such things as restricted travel and evacuations. Certain circumstances may require citizens to stay in their homes or to evacuate to a reception centre/shelter.

    How long does a state of emergency last?

    A province wide state of emergency is valid for 14 days and can be renewed should the special powers still be required to manage the event.

    Can individuals be charged more for essential items or services during an emergency?

    The Emergency Management Act makes it an offence to inflate (gouge) the price of essential items and services during emergencies. These can include such things as food, water, clothing, essential equipment, medical supplies or other essential goods and services. Citizens are encouraged to contact their local police to report any suspected cases of price inflation during emergencies. Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of price gouging should retain all relevant receipts.

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  • 11. How do I start a business in East Hants?
     

    Starting a business can be overwhelming.

    The Business Development Officers in East Hants are there to help.

    More information is available the the Start a Business section.

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  • 12. What is a local state of emergency?
     

    The Emergency Management Act allows for two separate types of states of emergencies. The first is known as a “Local State of Emergency” and is enacted by a Municipal Government either through a resolution of council, or by the direct request of the Municipal Mayor or Warden.

    States of Emergencies can be declared for a specific portion or for an entire jurisdiction (i.e. a specific geographical portion of the municipality or the entire municipality).

    Why is a state of emergency called?

    A state of emergency provides the authority to do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of people and the protection of property and the environment.

    How are citizens affected by a state of emergency?

    During states of emergencies the public is expected to listen to and follow the instruction given by authorities, and to comply with any orders given by the Province or Municipality.

    These may include such things as restricted travel and evacuations. Certain circumstances may require citizens to stay in their homes or to evacuate to a reception centre/shelter.

    How long does a state of emergency last?

    Local states of emergencies are valid for seven days after which time they can be renewed.

    Can individuals be charged more for essential items or services during an emergency?

    The Emergency Management Act makes it an offence to inflate (gouge) the price of essential items and services in times of emergencies. These can include such things as food, water, clothing, essential equipment, medical supplies or other essential goods and services. Citizens are encouraged to contact their local police to report any suspected cases of price inflation during emergencies. Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of price gouging should retain all relevant receipts.

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  • 13. Where can I get help to immigrate to East Hants?
     

    The Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia can help.

    For information on immigrating to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada's Citizenship and Immigration website.

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  • 14. Do I have to pay my tax bill if I am appealing my assessment?
     

    Tax bill must be paid even when an assessment appeal has been filed.  Interest will accrue at 10% per annum if payment is not received.  Any overpayment as a result of an appeal decision will be refunded with interest at the rate set by Council.

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  • 15. Am I paying less property tax under the Property CAP Program?
     

    Information on the provincial CAP Program is available online.

     

     

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  • 16. How do I have my meter replaced?
     

    You will receive an introduction letter and a brochure in the mail from Neptune Technology instructing you on how to book your appointment.

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  • 17. Why did I get a water meter replacement letter but my neighbour did not?
     

    Your neighbour may not have received a letter if their meter has already been replaced through a previous service call or appointment.

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  • 18. Does my home need a BFP device?
     

    No.

    Single family homes are considered a minor hazard to the water supply. Although homeowners are not required to install a BFP device, they are encouraged to install one to protect their homes from the potential of contaminated water.

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  • 19. Where can I get contact information and phone numbers?
     

    Here are the telephone numbers for key contacts at the Municipality.

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  • 20. How do I get a dog license?
     

    The Municipality requires that your dog is licensed every year. For more information on licencing your dog, visit our page on Dog Control.

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  • 21. Is funding available for my community group?
     

    Community Grants are designed to encourage community recreation in a manner consistent with the recreation principles, goals and plans of the East Hants Municipal Council.  In addition it is to be used to improve the quality and quantity of community recreation opportunities by financially assisting groups with New Recreation & Culture Initiatives, Leadership, Youth Programming and Aquatic/Outdoor Skating Programs.

    Community Grants are received and assessed on an “as needed” basis.  In addition, it is the policy of council to approve only one community grant per year (April 1st - March 31st) per group.

    It is also a policy of Council to encourage community commitment to an initiative by not exceeding community contributions to projects being considered for grant assistance.

    For more information, please contact the Recreation & Culture Department at 883-3387.

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  • 22. Where do I get information for the RCMP?
     

    There are two detachments of the RCMP that serve East Hants:

    Enfield Detachment                                                     
    902-883-7077
    136 Highway 2
    Enfield, NS
    B2T 1C8

    Rawdon Detachment                                                      
    902-632-2424
    3945 Highway 14
    Rawdon, NS

    There is also a Community Policing Officer located in the Mount Uniacke Library who can be reached at 902-632-2424.

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  • 23. Does East Hants have a Town Crier?
     
    East Hants Town Crier

    Anita Benedict is the East Hants Town Crier.

    Yes, East Hants has a Town Crier.

    Anita Benedict, of East Noel, applied for the position after learning about it at the annual Lieutenant Governor's Garden Party in Halifax in June 2013.

    The Municipality of East Hants began looking for a Town Crier to fill the vacancy after Bob Raoul announced his retirement.

    Benedict became the official town crier for the Municipality of East Hants in September 2013.

    Contact the Town Crier well ahead of your planned event to book her attendance.

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  • 24. Where do I get property tax information?
     

    If you are selling your house, renewing your mortgage or purchasing a home in East Hants, you can get property tax information in the following ways:

    1. Tax Bills are sent to property owners twice a year - an interim bill in April and a final bill in August.  The final bill has complete property assessment information, local improvement charges (if applicable), area rates charged on the account and account balance information. The interim bill provides property information and account balance information.  Tax Bill reprints can be done at a cost of $10/reprint (Bylaw F-200).
    2. Tax Certificates provide certified current tax account information. The cost is $60 and all requests must be received in writing.
    3. Tax Account Statements can be issued at a cost of $10/statement (Bylaw F-200).

    To obtain a Tax Bill reprint, a Tax Certificate or Tax Account Statement please fill out the form and contact the Tax Administrator at 902-883-7098 ext. 227 with your completed form.

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  • 25. What are the tax rates in East Hants?
     

    East Hants tax rates are posted online.

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  • 26. What is a Cross Connection Control Program?
     

    In East Hants, it is a program whereby the Municipality has authority to administer, regulate the selection, installation, testing and maintenance of backflow prevention devices. The program also seeks to educate water customers on industry best practices to prevent cross connections.

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  • 27. How to pay tax & water bills?
     

    For your ease and convenience, there are several ways to pay tax and water bills in East Hants.

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  • 28. What is the purpose of a Backflow Prevention Device (BFP)?
     

    Backflow Prevention Devices (BFP) are installed to minimize risk of a potential contaminant entering the distribution system from a customer’s property. This helps to protect the public’s safety by preventing drinking water contamination.

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  • 29. Where can I find information on tax sales in East Hants?
     

    An information package on each property up for sale will be available 60 days prior to the tax sale date.

    Sign up for our Tax Sale emails to keep up-to-date on the latest news and information.

    Information for Prospective Bidders at Tax Sale

     

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  • 30. When are tax bills due?
     

    Spring tax bills are due on June 1st of each year. Final tax bills are due on September 30th each year.

    There are up to four notices sent throughout the year to property owners whose accounts are in arrears. The notices are sent in July, October and January, as well as in the Spring when necessary.

    Initial collection proceedings begin at the end of June on properties that are subject to Tax Sale.

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  • 31. Who can apply for the Municipal Tax Assistance Program?
     

    Each year, Council sets a general exemption rate in accordance with Section 69 of the Municipal Government Act. This exemption applies to taxpayers in the Municipality whose household taxable income does not exceed the limits set by Council.

    Read more about the Municipal Tax Assistance Program.

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  • 32. What are the water utility rates in East Hants?
     

    The Municipality of East Hants is serviced by the East Hants Water Utility.  The Utility services the Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield and Shubenacadie areas. Read more on water rates.

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  • 33. How do I connect or disconnect my water?
     

    You will need to complete a water connection or disconnection form. These can be filled out at the Municipal Office in Elmsdale, N.S or faxed to the attention of the Utility/Accounts Receivable Clerk at 1-888-684-5912. Read more...

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  • 34. What is FOG?
     

    FOG is an acronym for fat, oil and grease.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below:

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 35. Where can I find out about the new aquatic centre in East Hants?
     

    It's an exciting time in East Hants as we construct a $19m aquatic centre. Here are links with further information:

    Latest information

    Construction Camera

     

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  • 36. What is a grease trap?
     

    A grease trap is a plumbing device designed to trap fat, oils and grease (FOG’s) and prevent them from entering a wastewater system.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below;

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 37. How does grease trap work?
     

    Once the wastewater cools, fat, oil, and grease (FOG) harden and float to the top and the food solids settle at the bottom. The wastewater is forced through the grease trap and out to the sanitary sewer.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below:

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 38. Why is a grease trap important?
     

    When warm FOG (fats, oils and grease) enter the plumbing system they cool, harden and can stick to the inside of sewer pipes. Overtime, this buildup can cause blocked sewers. Blocked sewers can lead to a sewage backup into your business, a neighbouring property or into environmentally sensitive areas.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below:

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 39. When is my water bill due?
     

    Water bills are issued at the end of each quarter. They are due twenty (20) days from the Invoice Date shown on the Water Utility Invoice.

    The URB has given the Utility the authority to suspend service to customers whose bills remain unpaid for more than thirty (30) days after the billing date. A re-connection charge of $40.00 must be paid before service will be resumed.  Any further suspensions of service incurred by the customer are subject to a $75.00 re-connection fee, before resumption of service. The charge will be $200.00 if re-connection is requested outside of normal working hours.

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  • 40. Pipe Ownership - For what am I responsible?
     

    East Hants is responsible for the water and sewer mains and short lengths of laterals which are located under the street and end at your property line. You are responsible for the repair and maintenance for your water and sewer laterals, which are the pipes and connections running from the property line to your house .

     

    Please click here for our helpful info-graphic.

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  • 41. What is water disinfection?
     

    Disinfection is a critical process of water treatment. The goal of disinfection is to kill or destroy harmful bacteria and viruses in the water that can cause sickness, disease and even death.

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  • 42. Why is chlorine used as a disinfectant?
     

    Chlorine has been shown to be an effective agent against waterborne bacteria and viruses.

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  • 43. Is water with chlorine in it safe to drink?
     

    Yes. The amount of chlorine found in our treated water is safe to drink.

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  • 44. Why do I smell and taste chlorine in my water?
     

    The Nova Scotia Guidelines for Monitoring Public Drinking Water Supplies require that where a chlorine disinfection system is being used, a minimum free chlorine residual of 0.2 mg/L should be measured at all points in the water distribution system and must not exceed 4 mg/L at any time.

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  • 45. I don't like the taste of chlorine in my water. What can I do?
     

    Storing water in an uncovered glass container in the fridge overnight will allow the chlorine in the water to dissipate. As well, activated carbon or charcoal filters can remove the background taste of chlorine.

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  • 1. Where can I find information on accommodations?
     

    The Visitors section of the East Hants website lists places to stay in East Hants, including B&Bs, Cabins and Campgrounds.

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  • 2. What is there to do in East Hants?
     

    There are so many fun things to do in East Hants! East Hants is the perfect blend of urban and rural communities so there is always something to do.

    Here are 10 of the top things to experience in East Hants.

     

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  • 1. Where can I get contact information and phone numbers?
     

    Here are the telephone numbers for key contacts at the Municipality.

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  • 2. How do I connect or disconnect my water?
     

    You will need to complete a water connection or disconnection form. These can be filled out at the Municipal Office in Elmsdale, N.S or faxed to the attention of the Utility/Accounts Receivable Clerk at 1-888-684-5912. Read more...

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  • 1. Who repairs street lights?
     

    Street lights that are owned by the Municipality of East Hants are to be reported to the Municipality if they are malfunctioning.  You can report a broken or malfunctioning streetlight to the Municipality by e-mailing streetlights@easthants.ca or by calling 1-866-758-2299 x 103.

    A streetlight is typically owned by the Municipality if it is located on a wooden NSPI pole, it is a LED (Light Emitting Diode) type fixture, and it is road way facing.

    A streetlight is typically privately owned if it is facing away from the roadway toward private property or driveway, or if it is located away from the street/road on private property, or if it is not a LED type fixture.

    Privately owned streetlights/security lights that are rented from Nova Scotia Power are to be reported to NSPI when they are malfunctioning. (You can report a broken or malfunctioning street light to NSPI by calling 1-877-428-6004 and selecting option 3 or by filling out an electronic form on their website.)

    MUNICIPALITY OF EAST HANTS REPORTING PROCEDURE:

    You can report a broken or malfunctioning streetlight to the Municipality by e-mailing streetlights@easthants.ca or by calling 1-866-758-2299 x 103.

    Please provide the following information when reporting a malfunctioning streetlight.

    DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM

    • First & Last name
    • Phone Number
    • Description of Problem:
      • Single fixture out
      • Multiple Fixtures out
      • Lights within the fixture are out (e.g. one strip of lights on one side of the fixture is lit and the other is out)
      • Light flickering / strobe effect
      • Light on during the day
      • Broken or damaged arm/bracket
      • Other (please describe)

    LOCATION OF PROBLEM

    • Street address
    • Nearest Intersection
    • Community
    • Description of where the streetlight is located:
      • In front of the address indicated
      • Across the road from the address indicated
      • Additional descriptive information that may be helpful with details of how the light may be located (e.g. relation to landmarks, or how many poles from an intersection or landmark etc.
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  • 2. How do I start a business in East Hants?
     

    Starting a business can be overwhelming.

    The Business Development Officers in East Hants are there to help.

    More information is available the the Start a Business section.

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  • 3. Where can I get help to immigrate to East Hants?
     

    The Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia can help.

    For information on immigrating to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada's Citizenship and Immigration website.

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  • 4. Does my home need a BFP device?
     

    No.

    Single family homes are considered a minor hazard to the water supply. Although homeowners are not required to install a BFP device, they are encouraged to install one to protect their homes from the potential of contaminated water.

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  • 5. Where do I get information for the RCMP?
     

    There are two detachments of the RCMP that serve East Hants:

    Enfield Detachment                                                     
    902-883-7077
    136 Highway 2
    Enfield, NS
    B2T 1C8

    Rawdon Detachment                                                      
    902-632-2424
    3945 Highway 14
    Rawdon, NS

    There is also a Community Policing Officer located in the Mount Uniacke Library who can be reached at 902-632-2424.

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  • 6. How to pay tax & water bills?
     

    For your ease and convenience, there are several ways to pay tax and water bills in East Hants.

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  • 7. What is the purpose of a Backflow Prevention Device (BFP)?
     

    Backflow Prevention Devices (BFP) are installed to minimize risk of a potential contaminant entering the distribution system from a customer’s property. This helps to protect the public’s safety by preventing drinking water contamination.

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  • 8. Where can I find information on tax sales in East Hants?
     

    An information package on each property up for sale will be available 60 days prior to the tax sale date.

    Sign up for our Tax Sale emails to keep up-to-date on the latest news and information.

    Information for Prospective Bidders at Tax Sale

     

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  • 9. What is FOG?
     

    FOG is an acronym for fat, oil and grease.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below:

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 10. Where can I find out about the new aquatic centre in East Hants?
     

    It's an exciting time in East Hants as we construct a $19m aquatic centre. Here are links with further information:

    Latest information

    Construction Camera

     

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  • 11. What is a grease trap?
     

    A grease trap is a plumbing device designed to trap fat, oils and grease (FOG’s) and prevent them from entering a wastewater system.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below;

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 12. How does grease trap work?
     

    Once the wastewater cools, fat, oil, and grease (FOG) harden and float to the top and the food solids settle at the bottom. The wastewater is forced through the grease trap and out to the sanitary sewer.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below:

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 13. Why is a grease trap important?
     

    When warm FOG (fats, oils and grease) enter the plumbing system they cool, harden and can stick to the inside of sewer pipes. Overtime, this buildup can cause blocked sewers. Blocked sewers can lead to a sewage backup into your business, a neighbouring property or into environmentally sensitive areas.

    For more information about preventing FOG build up in the sewer system, click on the links below:

    F.O.G Prevention

    Saving our Sewers, the Environment and Money

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  • 1. When is the next Council meeting?
     

    Meetings of the Executive Committee and Council are listed on the Council Calendar.

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  • 2. What does a municipal Councillor do?
     

    What is a Municipal Council’s main function?

    • The Council of every Municipality is essentially responsible for making policy and high level governance decisions about the Municipality. They adopt strategy, pass bylaws and policy and adopt budgets. The administration of all these instruments is then left to the staff to carry out in accordance with the wishes of Council.

    What should I expect as a Municipal Councillor?

    • As a Council member you are expected to be in-tune with your community’s needs and seen as a representative who makes decisions in the best interest of all of East Hants. You will be an important point of contact by members of your community who will have issues and opinions to share on how the community should be run/changed. You will bring ideas to Council to consider. In many cases your role will be to share information about Provincial programs and regulations or to provide contact information for other agencies.

    What is the compensation for East Hants Municipal Councillors?

    • Councillors shall be paid an amount every two weeks dependent on the distance they are located from the Municipal Offices. Unless otherwise determined this amount shall be adjusted upward each April 1 by the CPI for Nova Scotia, the same as what is used to adjust staff compensation. Please refer to the Council Remuneration and Travel Reimbursement Policy for more information.

    How much power will I have as a Councillor?

    • Individual Councillors have little power of their own. Their power is in one of 11 votes cast by Council members, who by majority vote, decide what the community will look like and what projects will be undertaken. The responsibility and authority of Municipalities is set out in the Municipal Government Act and several other less significant pieces of legislation. For example, the water rates are set by the Utility and Review Board by application approved by the Municipality.

    What kind of topics will I be voting on?

    • As a Councillor you can expect to be involved in votes that set annual budgets- both operating and capital and adopt strategy on a wide range of things including planning and land zoning, economic development, recreation assets and programming as well as solid waste. Council is also responsible to decide what Municipal laws will be set (Bylaws) and gives the CAO direction on how to administer the affairs of the Municipality through policy adoption and direction through motions of various sorts.

    As a Councillor how often do I attend meetings?

    • All of Council sits on the Executive Committee that meets for a full day each month and attends a one evening Council meeting per month. There are a few other external and internal committees that you may be asked to sit on which meet as often as monthly but many more sporadically.

     

    The conduct of an individual Councillor is governed by a Code of Conduct that is adopted by Council itself in its Council Procedural Policy and certain legislated provisions such as in the Conflict of Interest Act and the Municipal Government Act.

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  • 3. How can I find out about expenses for Council and the CAO?
     

    The Municipality of East Hants operates an open and transparent government. Councillor and Chief Administrative Officer expenses are now available to view online.

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  • 1. How does East Hants go to market?
     

    East Hants works hard to treat all potential suppliers fairly. While specific requirements of individual jobs may vary, we strive to ensure our approach and our respect for firms competing for our work remains consistent.

    You can review our Procurement Policy for the detail, but goods over $25,000 and services and construction over $50,000 have to go for public competition. Under those thresholds, we’re free to look for a minimum of three quotations through an invitational process.

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  • 2. Why does East Hants show who has downloaded publicly advertised documents?
     

    The “Who has downloaded this” link on our website is designed to encourage suppliers to connect. Traditionally, electricians, plumbers, and businesses market their services to subcontractors or general contractors bidding on large commercial jobs. This list allows for this type of interactivity. We do not limit it to construction activities either, as the Municipality believes that there are a number of talented firms that may not have all of the skills or resources in-house to respond to a competition; knowing who else is interested allows them to potentially partner up to provide services or to market their specific skills to a larger firm. Large project teams are often made up of a variety of consultants and sub-consultants with different skills, expertise and talents, and the Municipality would like to encourage these type of partnerships.

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  • 3. You seem to ask for a lot in your responses?
     

    The Public Procurement Act of Nova Scotia is the primary set of rules for Municipal procurement. We are tasked to be open, fair, efficient, effective, consistent and transparent in our dealings, supporting the principles of sustainable procurement included in the Act, all the while using public money wisely.

    East Hants must also act in accordance with a number of trade agreements when the purchase is over a certain dollar value. The new Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are two examples. These treaties attempt to remove barriers to trade so that Canadian companies can be more competitive in markets other than Nova Scotia, but they obligate us to be fair to other jurisdictions as well.

    Managing all of these requirements can be complicated and setting things out clearly requires us to be exact.

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  • 4. What Does East Hants require?
     

    Every job is different: individual projects have specific requirements which may also require certain qualifications. For example, we require anyone hired to do work on our premises to have Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia workplace insurance and almost always require the supplier to have Commercial General Liability insurance and to list us as an additional insured.

    Higher value or higher risk construction projects may require Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia safety accreditation (WCB Safety Certified) while lower value or lower risk projects may just require the completion of a Safety Questionnaire. The point is that we want suppliers that value safety and adhere to the applicable safety legislation.

    Bid bonds and contract security (performance and labour and material bonds) are commonly required for construction projects over $100,000.00.  We will sometimes look for performance security in certain service contracts (curbside collection). While we may consider alternative forms of security, such as irrevocable letter of credit or certified cheque, in smaller jobs, most bonding will be required to be in the form of a CCDC bond document.

    More often we are including a number of specific questions in our competitions so that we can understand better how a supplier does business. We know responding to RFPs can be challenging; we’re not looking for fancy prose, just a clear and concise description of what you intend to do or provide as indicated by the question we’re asking. Answering questions gets points; not answering does not.

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  • 5. What is East Hants looking for in a supplier?
     

    Just like you, we want good value and a good business transaction with no surprises.

    To achieve that, the requirements for each competition may be unique and they will be described in the competition documents. Capacity, capability, quality, contingency, and the communication around these are becoming the focus of our evaluations because these are the things that demonstrate value to the Municipality. Our contracts aren’t designed to unreasonably hold suppliers to a standard that they have not committed to; we try to be clear about what we expect and we want suppliers to be clear about what they can provide. If you promise it, we’ll believe you and will expect you to provide it.

    Our competition documents are the tools we use to communicate our needs. We’ll be as clear as we can about what we want and what we expect, we’ll tell you what we want to know and what we value, and we’ll tell you the things upon which we’ll base our award. Sometimes price will be the most important thing (when all things are equal) and sometimes we’ll have a set of standards we’ll look for before we’ll even consider your price; point is, you’ll know before you bid and can make your choices accordingly.

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  • 6. How are procurement competitions advertised?
     

    All public competitions (Tenders, RFPs, and Standing Offers) will be advertised through the Nova Scotia procurement website. The Nova Scotia website has the Tendering Opportunities Notification System (TONS) feature which allows you to subscribe to certain criteria and get automatic notifications. The NS website will direct you to the East Hants website to download the documents.

    You may download competition documents from our website at for free. Once registered for a competition, you can elect to receive automatic notifications of Addenda and similar changes to the competition, but always check our site before you submit in case a notification was missed. We recommend you only download documents from our website to ensure you receive the most up-to-date information.

    We may occasionally use other media to supplement our advertisements (local papers, social media, etc.), but they will always refer you back to our website. The Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) periodically downloads our competition documents and we appreciate them getting the word out. We recommend still downloading directly from our site.

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  • 7. How do I respond to a competition?
     

    Every competition contains a description of what the response needs to looks like and what the rules are for submitting. Please read these carefully because the procurement rules we live by are very unforgiving. Most importantly, make sure you include anything which we say must be included and make sure to sign your response. If we ask for pricing to be placed in a separate envelope, please do so.

    Also, if we’ve made a mistake, let us know before the competition closes so we can fix it. Ask us questions (through the method identified in the competition document) and we’ll answer them, usually in an addendum to all suppliers.

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  • 8. I’ve responded to a competition, now what?
     

    We will get back to you.  Really.

    We’re a small municipality so it takes us time to get through an evaluation process which can, and typically does, include reading and re-reading the submissions, confirming compliance to the requirements, verification (adding up the numbers or calling references), clarifying anything that is unclear, and, finally, scoring. There may be several evaluators, so all of the scores have to be compiled and verified to determine a top-rated response. Once we have determined the highest-rated proposal or tender, we may have to get approval from Council or the CAO to proceed with award.

    Once award is announced, we will:

    • Inform unsuccessful proponents

    • Update the Nova Scotia Procurement website with the successful proponent’s name and, in most cases, the expected value of the contract

    • Provide a debrief to those suppliers who request one within 30 days of the award of a publicly tendered project

    • A debrief will only provide feedback on the suppliers’ own proposal or tender with the goal to help the proponent improve future responses

    • We encourage and accept feedback from the supplier with respect to the process

    If you are successful, you will be asked to sign a contract, usually based on the sample contract included in the competition documents. While there is some room to negotiate small details before the final contract is signed, suppliers must identify any objections to the terms of the sample contract before the competition closes. The Municipality will attempt to be reasonable, but typically clauses like indemnification, insurance, WCB coverage, and performance obligations have been carefully thought through and will not be changed.

    East Hants will not typically accept a limitation of liability in a contract. While we recognize suppliers need to protect themselves too, we go to them because they are experts, because they understand the risks in the work they do, and because we expect them to do good work that we can rely on and that they will stand behind.

    Once the contract has been signed by both parties, it moves over to the department to manage. The supplier must provide any documents they promised (Certificate of Insurance, Bonds, WCB letters, etc.) prior to starting the work.

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  • 9. What is the goal of your procurement process?
     

    At the end of any project involving an outside supplier, we want to look back and clearly see three things:

    • Excellent value to the taxpayers of East Hants;

    • A smooth procurement process satisfactory to both the supplier and East Hants; and

    • A growing, professional, and mutually beneficial relationship between East Hants and the supplier, in accordance with the rules in which we operate.

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