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Kippens council highlights

Kippens town office. – © File photo

By Jaymie L. White

Special to Wreckhouse Press

KIPPENS — The most recent meeting for Kippens Town Council took place on Thursday evening, Feb. 10 and marked the first town meeting since Jan. 13. Matters discussed included the tax installment plan, restructuring of town clerk/manager positions, and committee reports.

Tax Installment Plan

Councillor Jeff Young moved that council cancel the previous motion for the 2022 tax installment plan. Young said this is a motion he will not be voting in favour of, but with a majority vote, the motion was passed by council.

“This is something, as councillors, we wanted to put forward for the residents of Kippens, which we’ve had no success to do, as municipal affairs advised us that this was discrimination against age to seniors. I would totally disagree with this as I’m sure many people would. There’s many other towns in this province offering this discount to seniors in another way. I am speaking with Seniors NL and Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador to come to a solution for this, to offer our seniors something. It probably will not be in this tax year, but I’m hoping it will be in this tax year, and I’d also like to note that we will be putting a motion forward before the tax bills go out to have a plan in place for seniors, for everyone in the public, to go onto a tax plan if need be, but the for seniors discount will not go ahead for this year.”

Young added that the tax mil rate did go down, which will offer Kippens residents a sum off their taxes.

Heritage Day/Week proclamation

Mayor Mike Comerford read the proclamation from Heritage NL which stated the third Monday in February is recognized nationally as Heritage Day.

“Heritage Day and Heritage Week are a time to reflect on other achievements of past generations and to accept responsibilities for protecting our heritage and whereas our citizens should be encouraged to celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador’s uniqueness and to rejoice in our heritage and environment.”

Restructuring town positions

The following motions were passed by council, which shifted roles and responsibilities with two positions for the Town of Kippens.

• Acting Town Clerk was returned to Office Assistant.

• Acting Town Manager was returned to Town Clerk.

• Interim Town Manager role was modified to include the role of Acting Town Clerk.

Infrastructure and Maintenance

Coun. Harold Doucette welcomed John Hogan to the role of Interim Town Manager saying he was ‘badly needed,’ and he also welcomed Maurice Kirk, the town’s new temporary operator. The loader, which had need of repairs as discussed in previous meetings, is now in operation.

“It has a new transmission. There were a number of issues addressed besides the transmission, which increased the total cost. The sand truck was also plagued with a number of issues, but that also has been rectified. We think it’s in pretty good shape now. As a matter of fact, Mr. Hogan is introducing a prevention maintenance plan which will probably include, at the end of the season, our equipment being taken, cleaned, and if there’s any problems, it can be fixed then, which will increase the value of our equipment and also the life-expectancy of the equipment.”

Doucette stated they had 20 total Occupational Health and Safety deficiencies for the maintenance garage, town office, fire hall, and community center, and they are now 90 per cent complete.

Also addressed was the water outage that took place in Kippens on Jan. 19, 2022 as a result of an early morning power outage that wasn’t noticed until later that night. Doucette said the systems which monitor the pumps at the pump shed are now back in operation.

“As a result of this we had two leaks – one down on Seaside Drive, which was repaired the next day, and we had another one that was located by the town hall. At the time our new Interim Town Manager was on and he noticed this leak. He went over and stood at it for about 10 minutes and the leak healed itself. So we’re issuing a challenge to any other community who has a Town Manager that good, not to blow them out for any reason.”

Wellness, Culture and Recreation

Coun. Carla Pearce said this month they’ve begun applications toward funding for Come Home Year.

“We’re hoping to have a very big event at the end of July, so we’re seeking some funding to support a really nice weekend for everybody, for the residents. As well, we’ve also completed applications for funding for seniors programs as well. We’ve left it wide open basically, what we will ask for in terms of funding, before we make a decision as to what that programming is actually going to look like.”

Pearce added that they are in preliminary talks in regard to Winter Carnival and will hopefully be meeting soon to discuss it perhaps taking place the first week of March.

Human Resources and Finances

Coun. Michelle MacIsaac thanked Josie Noseworthy for her work.

“As everyone knows, we’re all brand-new councillors here and we’ve had to get our act together before we could get the budget underway, and Josie worked relentlessly day and night to get this underway. This had to be submitted to Municipal Affairs before the tax bills can go out, so we ask the residents of Kippens to bear with us. You will get your tax bills. We thank Josie for all her hard work and our new town manager as well. They’ve worked relentlessly and tirelessly, and the residents owe them a huge debt of gratitude because it’s been a trying year and they’ve taken on a world of torture to get this done.”

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