Media Releases

Parks & Trails - Closures and Restrictions

In addition to the Province of Nova Scotia restricting travel and activities in wooded areas, the Municipality of Colchester is closing all wooded areas of municipal parks and the Cobequid Trail effective 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 31. Stewiacke River Park will be fully closed, as it is heavily wooded. However, non-wooded areas of some municipal parks, such as playgrounds, sports fields and ball diamonds will remain open for use.

For parks which have both wooded and non-wooded areas, the wooded areas are closed, and the non-wooded areas remain open unless posted closed. An example of this would be Nelson Memorial Park where the playground, washrooms and lawn areas remain open, but the wooded sections are closed.

The lawn area of Five Islands Lighthouse Park remains open however the old field and wooded section are closed.

The Foresthill walkway to Redcliff Middle School and the Robin Road walkway to Valley Elementary School remain open.

Fundy Discovery Site remains open.

Fires, open flames, and barbeque use are prohibited in all Colchester parks and trails.

Parks and trails that are fully closed include:

Cobequid Trail - all sections in Old Barns, Lower Truro, Valley, Bible Hill, and Truro.

Stewiacke River Park

Burnside Falls Park

Springwaters Park and Trail

Valley Nature Trail (behind Valley Elementary)

Phoebe Lane to Falcon Road parkland and trail

Ice Pond Drive to Birch Street Trail (playground is open)

former Salmon River School property

Closures will be completed and signed as soon as possible.

No Change to Colchester Tax Rates

Colchester County Council approved its 2023/24 operating budget on April 27, 2023, with no increase to the residential or commercial tax rates. This is the fifth year of the last six that the Municipality has been able to keep its rates the same, with just a half cent increase in 2019. Residential properties will continue to pay $0.885 and commercial properties $2.28, per 100 dollars of assessment as determined by Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC), the independent, not-for-profit organization that is responsible for assessing all property in Nova Scotia.

“Increased property assessments and dedicated fiscal prudency are the primary reasons we have been able to cope with ever-rising costs without increasing our tax rates the past number of years,” stated Colchester Mayor, Christine Blair. “Investment in contingency reserve funds, and long-term forecasting have also contributed greatly to our stable financial position.”

This year’s $38.7 Million budget supports the Municipality’s quality core programs and services and continues to invest in critical infrastructure and economic development initiatives. Some notable investments include rural broadband internet, Debert Business Park and Airport, Fundy Discovery Site, the Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark, Carbon-Free Colchester Initiatives and other partnerships such as the Truro Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity (TCPEP), the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, as well as future housing initiatives.    

Numerous community organizations will again receive support through the County’s extensive not-for-profit grant programs. “Community groups are critical to providing important services and facilities in our Municipality that we may not otherwise be able to afford,” added Mayor Blair. “We are pleased to support the dedicated volunteers working hard to make our communities better.”

Each year the County’s operating budget is set within a context of competing needs, requests, opportunities, and anticipated revenues. Some costs and revenue streams are not within the Municipality’s control. Over 43% of taxes collected by the Municipality will be transferred to the Provincial Government for services such as schools, housing, libraries, assessment services, corrections, and policing.  This leaves the Municipality with $22 million dollars to deliver County-wide services such as sewage treatment, solid waste management, environmental planning, and recreation services.

Policing costs to the Municipality went up 6.04% contributing to the overall 7% increase in required mandatory payments to the Province, which totalled $16.7 Million.  Retroactive pay for a new policing contract negotiated by the Federal government remains a concern on the horizon as well. “The new contract was negotiated without our input, and unfortunately it looks like we will eventually have to foot the bill,” said Director of Corporate Services, Scott Fraser. “It’s uncertain at this time what the full impact might be, but I anticipate it will be significant and something we will inevitably have to deal with.”

Despite challenges, Colchester County experienced significant growth in 2022 with $97 Million in new building development compared to the previous 5-year average of $59 Million. Permit applications and subdivision plans also increased 25% over the previous year. Council remains optimistic about the Municipality’s future with much to look forward to in 2023.

Statement of Condolence - Bob Taylor

Colchester County Council, Bible Hill Village Commission, and staff are deeply saddened by the passing of Bob Taylor. We extend heartfelt condolences to his family.

Please see the complete Statement of Condolence on the passing of Bob Taylor issued jointly by the Municipality of Colchester and the Village of Bible Hill here  default Statement of Condolence Bob Taylor (371 KB)  

Colchester Celebrates Completion of Post-Fiona Tree & Yard Debris Collection

The Municipality of Colchester is celebrating the completion of its extensive post-Fiona Tree and Yard Debris Collection program eight weeks after it began. The program successfully served all residents throughout the Municipality whose material was curbside at their regular collection location by the October 11, 2022, start date.

“Following the overwhelming devastation left by Hurricane Fiona, Council recognized the need to respond quickly to help residents. Tipping fees for Fiona-related tree and yard debris were first waived at our Colchester Solid Waste Facilities in Kemptown. Then planning for a special collection program quickly got underway,” recalls Colchester County Mayor, Christine Blair. “Although an unexpected and unbudgeted expense, Council was fortunate to be able to support the program.”

“The first challenge was identifying a collection approach that could accommodate the sheer size and volume of debris that residents were dealing with,” explains Colchester’s Director of Solid Waste, Phillip Redden. “Then the task of sourcing adequate equipment, operators, and in some cases traffic control services, amidst labour shortages and circumstances where other public and private entities were competing for the same resources, was the next hurtle to overcome.”

Employing as many local assets as were available, the collection team used the same “turn by turn” route-mapping technology as is used for regular garbage, recycling, and compost collection to ensure no one would be missed. In all, 1400 truckloads totalling over 1850 tonnes of material was collected, adding to the 933 tonnes of material that had been brought to the Kemptown facility by residents themselves.

The Municipality’s contribution to Fiona clean-up efforts is anticipated to reach approximately $500,000. However, staff are hopeful that a portion of these funds may be recovered through Federal emergency assistance programs.

“In addition to our special collection program, we were also very fortunate in Colchester to have had neighbours helping one another, and teams from Christian Aid Ministries Rapid Response Services and the Department of Natural Resources assisting homeowners with their individual clean-ups. We have come a very long way since Fiona arrived on September 24,” says Mayor Blair. “I also want to acknowledge the volunteer services of our fire brigades, first responders, Colchester Ground Search and Rescue, our regional Emergency Management team, and all Colchester staff involved for the tremendous amount of work they did in the aftermath of Fiona.”

Residents who continue to require support may call 211 or visit the following website to determine what Provincial program options remain available:


 Colchester Fiona Tree and Yard Debris Collection copy

Colchester Courage Awards Accepting Nominations Until Oct 31

The Municipality of Colchester is accepting nominations for its inaugural Colchester Courage Awards. The new annual award program is intended to recognize those within the Municipality who have performed acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril or bravery in hazardous situations. Due to Hurricane Fiona the deadline for nominations has been extended until 4:30pm on Monday, October 31, 2022.

“This will be a great opportunity to acknowledge those within our communities who demonstrate extraordinary courage in the face of danger or in challenging circumstances,” said Mayor Christine Blair. “Often these acts go largely unrecognized. The Colchester Courage Award is a way that we can show our appreciation and celebrate those who, in many cases, have put others before self.”

The award was first proposed by Colchester’s District 8 Councillor, Lisa Patton. Council unanimously supported the concept and on May 26, 2022, approved the Colchester Courage Award Policy. The Policy details criteria for nominations, the granting process, and how awards will be presented.

The Colchester Courage Awards are anticipated to be announced and presented at a special ceremony as part of the Council meeting to be held later this year. Nomination forms and more information is available by calling 902-897-3184, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by clicking the following link:

County Council to Finalize Post Fiona Yard Debris Collection Plan

Colchester County Council will meet Thursday evening, September 29, 2022, to finalize plans for yard debris collection throughout the municipality.  This has been a topic of concern for many residents since post Fiona recovery efforts began.

Given the large geographic nature of the municipality; the need to ensure plenty of notice is given; and to allow time for residents to gather materials - a multi-day plan designed to cover all quadrants of the municipality will be proposed.  Additionally, it is recognized that residents may benefit from having time to leverage recently announced Provincial funding contributions of $250 for residents to clean up their properties.

Options for spoiled food compost drop-off are also being explored in areas where regular compost collection is not scheduled to take place in the immediate future.  Further updates on potential drop off locations and special collection details will be shared as soon as available on the Municipality’s website (, social media channels, to those subscribed to the Colchester Solid Waste App, and will be available by calling the Solid Waste Helpline at 902-895-4777.

Also, reminder that tipping fees for yard debris delivered to the Colchester Waste Management facilities in Kemptown will be waived until Monday October 3, 2022.   For all other waste drop-off, only cash will be accepted until power is restored to the site.

The Municipality would like to thank residents for their patience during this challenging time.