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PAB council discuss properties and housing

By Jaymie L. White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES — The most recent council meeting took place on Tuesday evening, Jun. 20, and matters discussed included the dilapidated properties around town, the salt shed, line painting on the roads, the Hurricane Fiona impact zone, and the progress on the affordable housing unit.

Dilapidated properties Mayor Brian Button inquired as to the status of the dilapidated properties around Port aux Basques. “We’ve got a letter gone out for dilapidated properties and encouraging visits to take some action and try to make some repairs. We’re in a situation where we don’t have a lot of power, with some enforcement. We’re limited. If they’re not paying taxes, of course, you could have water turned off and items like that, but for dilapidated properties we have limited powers, but we’re doing what we can enforce them,” said Town Manager Leon MacIsaac.

Salt shed Mayor Button also asked for an update on the progress of the salt shed and MacIsaac informed council that the drawings haven’t come back from the consultant yet. “They were supposed to come back a week ago, but they’re delayed given that they’re busy. But it’s a project that lands well before summer construction season, so it’s only to expedite everything that they have to make sure it happens and gets in their hands,” said MacIsaac.

Line painting The line painting tender went out last week and currently has not been started. “They indicate there was a delay just due to the amount of rain here on the West coast. They’re hoping to start next week if the weather holds,” said MacIsaac. “With the line painting, it really needs to be done. I know the other morning we got a lot of tourists in town. Now it’s alright for me and you. We know where to go and we know which lanes are which. But the other morning when I was going into Tim’s, the line coming up – we would be going down through the centre heading to Grand Bay – that one coming up had everybody turning in and congestion was there with people trying to go around. The people who were turned in had no idea. They were all tourists, every one of them,” said Button. “They had no idea. There’re no markers on the road. They didn’t know. So it’s something that we’ve got to get done.”

Hurricane Fiona impact zone A special meeting was held on Jun. 11 where a motion was made regarding two documents presented by the province, one of Annex A and one of Annex B, related to the Hurricane Fiona impact zone. At the meeting, a motion was made to include an additional nine properties the town wanted the province to look at, to determine whether or not they would be in the impact zone or not. The motion was passed by council.

Affordable housing unit Councillor Melvin Keeping gave an update on behalf of the Economic Development Committee, which met on May 17, and where progress on the affordable housing unit was discussed at length. “The focus of the meeting was to discuss the applications received to date for the affordable housing project. To date there have been 27 applications received with an additional ten picked up, but they were not returned. There was discussion moving forward on the next set of criteria for the selection process,” said Keeping. “There were discussions on the name for the building, landscaping that will be done, paving and seating and a shed on the back of the building that will need to be constructed. There was discussion on constructing a raised garden bed there as well. It was quite a discussion on the criteria. And I do believe we’ve got a meeting set for tomorrow morning (Jun. 21) to finalize that.”

NL Health Services Town Clerk Nadine Osmond read correspondence from David Diamond with Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services. “Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services today launched new social media channels, an introductory website, and our new brand and identity. We’re excited about this important steps as we continue to transition to one provincial health authority,” read Osmond. “Newfoundland Health Services was announced by the provincial government in Budget 2022 following recommendations from Health Accord Newfoundland. Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services brings together our four regional health authorities the Eastern Health, Central Health, Western Health, Labrador-Grenfell Health and Newfoundland Labrador Center for Health Information. So they have also provided the information on where you would go in to get this information. You do have a new logo, so all the previous logos will no longer be used. So that’s information on that transfer from the older breakdown.” “I was on a conference call last week in one of the meetings. It was about the new logo, new health service, we’ll call it, not an authority like before, but they also had a small presentation on what we’re looking at from a new hospital here at the West coast, just a briefing on that, just to go through on that. And they’ll have further updates and stuff too,” said Button. Coun. Keeping asked if there was an update on the new collaborative health clinic. “We haven’t had an update on that piece of it. It was announced in the budget and we were part of that discussion with the minister on that,” replied Button.

Memory bench Osmond also read an email from a resident inquiring about placing a memorial bench in memory of their father in the Grand Bay West Beach area or somewhere else scenic. “Dad was an outdoor person and his love for nature was instilled in me, and now my children, who indicated the planners are developing a design at Grand Bay West beach for restoration and there may be an opportunity for some integration there as well. I’ve seen lots of very nice examples in outdoor spaces that I am sure your planners will be aware of as well,” wrote the resident. “It might be a follow up that we can do with these residents just to find out what they’d like to do and might be something that we can incorporate,” said Button. “The public works, in a previous meeting we had a request that we’ve got to go and look at the complex, putting a seat there, so we’ll look at that in public works.”

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