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PAB council discuss building hazard, rats

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter PORT AUX BASQUES — The first council meeting for 2024 was held on Tuesday evening, Jan. 9. “I would first of all start off with saying happy new year to everybody, and hopefully we’ve got a new year started and we’ll get kicked off and this year can be brighter. We’ll hope, but we’ll work towards that goal and to see where it goes. I’d also like to take the time tonight to introduce our newest employee with us, our new recreation director and the sports complex manager here now, Mr. Andrew Davis,” said Mayor Brian Button. Button also circled back after the first item of the agenda to highlight some changes. “It’s the first meeting for our new town clerk, Holly Walters. Holly is assuming the role of town clerk, and as well, it’s the first meeting tonight for our town manager for Nadine (Osmond) sitting in the role as town manager,” said Button. “I should also note it’s the first time in the town’s history that we’ve had a woman in the town manager’s position. So that is another thing that I think that is very good and something to be very proud of.” Bruce II Since the retrofit project has yet to be fully completed, Mayor Button asked for an update on the progress, as the update had discussed the dehumidifier. “There’s a couple of issues, nine issues, and there’s a couple of items written in that paragraph I was talking to Fundamentals about, who’s the consultant for the retrofit project. They are pretty much on schedule. There’s no big issues there now. They are waiting for the heat pumps to still arrive,” said Town Manager Nadine Osmond. “So pretty much like at our last meeting December 19 when they started to wind down, they haven’t done much since then because now the biggest part of it is to install the heat pump. So they’ll have a bit of a gap waiting for that. They’ve got three or four weeks left of work to do, but that’s pending the arrival of the heat pumps. The other couple of things that was listed there wasn’t exactly to do with the retrofit. It had to do with the motor for the dehumidification unit for the pool. Myself and Andrew have gotten the correspondence on that, so the part arrived. They didn’t send the right part, but the proper part has been flown down and is expected in the next couple of days. So they think by the end of the week that could possibly be complete.” Workers are in place awaiting the arrival of the correct part. “They’re still here,” said Osmond. “When that part gets here, it will be installed right away and Honeywell as well will be down to do testing and make sure all runs fine, and then we will be up and ready to go.” Pest control Under new business, Button focused on pest control, meaning rats. “That’s an ongoing item as well that we’ll have future conversations throughout the year about and ways in which, like we mentioned the last time, we have talked to the provincial government about programs, and we’ll go into those and to see if there are things that we can get into, such things as the garbage boxes and so on and so forth,” said Button. “But it is an issue, and we’re not alone in that issue. We have other municipalities, I believe, just this morning, I was just driving in here, come into the office for the morning, and there was someone on talking about pest control and pest problems and road problems that they’re having in the capital city. So it seems to be an issue that a lot of municipalities are trying to deal with for their residents.” Building hazard Town Clerk Holly Walters read out a letter from a concerned resident regarding the commercial structure on Charles Street. “I am writing this letter to address the situation with the commercial building on Charles Street. After reading an article in the Wreckhouse Weekly about storm preparation, it has come to my attention the plant poses a huge safety concern for upcoming storms. I have already witnessed debris from the building blow out across the parking lot and wrap around vehicles parked, or needing to be picked up to avoid damage from driving over the wharf,” read Walters. “On the outside of the building facing the ocean is a huge safety issue as it is cracked and falling down into the ocean with a number of pieces of rebar sticking out and I have witnessed children in the area in the wharf fishing in recent storms. The side that was damaged is getting worse. The plywood is slowly blowing apart from the frame of the building. There is also an old box car that took significant damages during Fiona and is lifted to the side. Teenagers still visit this area in the evenings posing another safety issue if the box car happens to tip over with them inside, or someone could potentially go through the floor inside as it is very damaged. Also, the building has been an eyesore for a number of years now, which has gotten only worse since Fiona.” “This is one of the pieces of property that’s been identified in the high impact area and it’s currently being dealt with through with the province. There’s an ongoing (process) for the removal of this particular piece of property. We did, myself and the town manager, have a conversation with provincial officials on Monday morning and it just so happened we had gotten this letter at the same time and this was one of the items on the agenda. So we copied this letter with them as well, trying to see if there’s certain things there that we can get done. It’s not quite so simple as us just going over and doing it because there’s still the ownership of it. What’s going on now with the business and the fact that the business has been closed up,” responded Button. “So hopefully we can get some movement on it. And I did have back after our meeting on Monday, I did get a call this afternoon requesting a full meeting with the provincial committee, come early next week. So this will be certainly on the agenda.”

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