Halifax firm to evaluate Bridgewater jobs, review salaries

The Town of Bridgewater has contracted Gerald Walsh Associates of Halifax to review salaries and carry out a job evaluation plan.

The firm is being paid $25,875 to complete the work. Civic politicians recently agreed to the deal by a motion of council.

The project is part of a "periodic review of non-unionized position salaries to ensure salaries are fair and reflective of the market," Bridgewater's chief administrator Tammy Crowder told council in a written report. Unionized positions are addressed during contract negotiations.

Bridgewater's existing position review system factors in external market and doesn't consider value of the position to the organization in terms of skills, responsibilities, and accountability.

Gerald Walsh Associates will provide managers "a tool that can be used in the review and placement of existing and proposed positions within the appropriate classification and grouping," Crowder indicated. "A market review of salaries will also be completed to meet the external equity component," she added.

Police dog Fergus to return to duty

The seven-year-old police dog injured during the July manhunt in Lunenburg County is expected to return to duty this month, Mounties say.

In a social media post mid-September, RCMP said the German Shepherd is "on the mend" and "on the road to full recovery."

Fergus was stabbed with a stick July 22 during a pursuit of a suspect wanted for trying to kill a Bridgewater cop. The suspect was later captured and his case is currently navigating the legal system. The injured municipal police officer, Sgt. Matt Bennett, is also recovering following a period of time in hospital.

Meanwhile, Fergus "received immediate treatment for a stab wound [and] fought off potential infections ...," RCMP said. "Thank you to the South Shore Veterinary Hospital for providing Fergus with the absolute best care. We expect he will return to duty later this month."

The Wileville-based veterinary clinic is credited with saving the dog's life.

New decorative light poles and fixtures coming to Bridgewater

It will cost six-figures to replace 70 existing lights at four locations around the Main Street of the South Shore.

Bridgewater is paying Halifax-based Graybar Canada $193,067 to supply poles and fixtures for King Street, Shipyards Landing, King Street Court and Mariners Landing where current lights have exceeded lifespans.

"These new lights will match both King Street, between Old Bridge Street and Dufferin Street, and Riverside Park lights for consistency through the downtown," Justin Penny, an engineering technician with the town, explained in a written report to civic politicians.

"The new lights will be 45-watt LED and will replace the existing 150-watt high-pressure sodium, which in turn will provide increased energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. The new lights will be equipped with banner arms and factory-installed plugs."

Town council authorized the purchase in September.

The material arrives in November. Town staff will start the replacement work in steps so impacted areas remain lit.

Riverside Place gets a facelift

A King Street building at the corner of the Dominion Street intersection is getting a facelift, with the town helping out via a program designed to tackle improving the look of private sector downtown building exteriors.

Riverside Place, which houses two apartments and two commercial units, received the maximum $5,000 available from the town's Facade Improvement Program (FIP).

The FIP is an application-based cost-sharing program reviewed by a committee of civic politicians, citizens and business leaders, and makes recommendations to town council. Under FIP, Bridgewater matches spending of eligible proposals that improve the look of a building exterior in the downtown core up to $5,000.

The building subject to the latest application is owned by Gary Ramey.

His building will undergo about $13,000 worth of work, including upgrades to the south facade, window trim repairs to match the recently-completed front facade. "The main item of work is the steel-framed exterior staircase to the second-floor dwelling unit, together with balcony," reads a report to town council by development officer Nick Brown.

Civic politicians green-lit the grant during a meeting earlier this month.

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