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PAB Council highlights: January 2023

The Bruce II Sports Centre – © File photo

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES — The most recent council meeting was held on Tuesday evening, Jan. 31. Matters discussed included donations toward the youth bowlers new uniforms, a wind phone by East Haven, the purchase of crown land, committee reports.

Bowling Uniforms At the previous meeting of council it was decided that the Town would hold off on making a decision regarding the donation until they were able to have further discussions about it. The motion was rescinded to pay for a portion of the uniforms citing that it may seem unfair, so they will opt to buy a name bar as advertising for the back of the sweatshirt. “In retrospect, if you look at the sweater itself, it’s a total advertisement for our Bruce II, so we felt it would be more appropriate to pay for the advertisement which is the logo on the sweater,” said Councillor Jim Lane

Wind Phone East Haven Funeral Home wrote to town council regarding the installation of a wind phone, which is built for those who have lost someone to call their loved ones as a way to release their locked up thoughts during the grieving process. The request was to install a wind phone on the Grand Bay West trail along with signage explaining what the phone is. Mayor Button said on the news recently, Deer Lake was shown as one of the closest communities that has one of these wind phones installed. The motion was unanimously passed and East Haven will be notified to discuss installation.

Purchase of Crown Land The Town received a letter from a resident looking to purchase Crown land near Grand Bay Road to rectify the land boundary of a home of someone who had passed. Town Manager Leon MacIsaac explained that after the passing of a resident, it was noted that the home on the property extended past the boundary of their land so they wanted to acquire the additional property to rectify that. Council supported the request because it is crown land and no other properties would be affected as the home is already there. The motion was passed so the estate could be corrected.

Recreation Committee Reports Coun. Todd Strickland delivered the recreation committee report, starting with an update on the Curling Club. Their new floors have been successfully installed. The backup lifeguard position had been posted and advertised for some time, but there has been no luck in recruiting someone. Discussions took place regarding freshwater vs. saltwater pools, as well as pool parts that are getting outdated and it’s becoming harder to obtain parts. The position of backup Zamboni driver will soon be posted because, with employees being sick, the rink had to be closed one evening. Ball field correspondence was received by the committee discussing necessary repairs, and these will take place in the spring, as well, the plan is to keep the gate closed and locked to the ball field to ensure skidoos don’t pass through the gates and tear up the grass now that snow is on the ground.

Economic Development Coun. Melvin Keeping provided the report on behalf of the economic development committee. He provided an update on the farmer’s market which is located next to the train museum. The market requires minor repairs in the spring, new signage will be installed on the old Bruce II sign, and around the venue new flags and banners will be placed. An official opening will take place in the spring. The Town hired Green Leaf Consulting to conduct the work on the regional trail project, the trail between Codroy Valley and Rose Blanche. A startup meeting will take place next week. The Grand Bay West Trail reconstruction request for proposals was issued and three consultants came forward. The town is in the process of making the decision on that project. An Astrolabe Day committee is in the process of being formed with recruitment of community members currently taking place. The first meeting of the committee is scheduled for Feb. 15. An upgrade to the fish plant’s ice maker is moving forward as well as additional work for the fish plant. The spring will mark another beautification plan on behalf of the Town, and the plan is to do something with the space where the old town depot once sat. A discussion on funding to attend the World Hydrogen Conference event in May was held. The cost of the flight is $1,500 and the registration is $2,500. It was recommended that a regional committee be formed, which will include representatives from other communities and groups. They will touch base with Stephenville to discuss what their plans are. A discussion was held to expand subdivisions to have new builds to meet the housing requirements of the Town. The request for proposals for a housing consultant will close at the end of the month. The College of the North Atlantic is also facing housing issues for their students as they currently have no student housing available to the many students that attend campus. An amendment was made later on in the meeting regarding the expansion of subdivisions. It was stated that apartment buildings for commercial use will be added at several locations on Grand Bay West Road. The town wants to see an apartment building go up quickly in order to help with the housing crisis that was amplified after Hurricane Fiona. The loss after the hurricane totaled over 100 homes, and there are some that are located within the flood zone that may have to come down as well. The amendment was made to clarify that existing commercial land is available to be used for apartments. The motion for the amendment was passed unanimously.

Public Works Coun. Melvin Keeping the Public Works Committee report. Committee members paid a visit to a home that was experienced flooding and sewer issues during heavy rain and high tide. During the next storm, the plan is to visit and monitor the system to confirm if there are any town issues with the lines. There was correspondence detailing water runoff issues on a property on High Street that are occurring as a result of recent developments on an adjoining property. It was determined that a drainage system was installed on that adjoining property which is directing a large amount of water onto the High Street property. The committee recommended the owner of the new system be contacted to and ordered to correct the situation.

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