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PAB council works on water main info, recreation

PAB council, 2023 - file photo

By Jaymie White

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES — The most recent council meeting took place on Tuesday evening, Jan. 2, and matters discussed included an email from Epilepsy Newfoundland and Labrador, a discussion of the previous Public Works Meeting, and the recreation report.

Epilepsy NL

Town Clerk Holly Walters brought forward an email from Epilepsy NL who were looking for support from the Town of Port aux Basques.

“They are asking us if we can join in and mark March 26 as the day for purple day, which is considered epilepsy day in the town,” said Walters. “And they want to wrap our poles with purple lights.”

Council decided to move forward with the motion of support and it was passed unanimously.

Public Works

Coun. Melvin Keeping stated the most recent Public Works meeting took place on Jan. 18, at 10:00 a.m. and numerous items were on the agenda.

“Number one item was emergency equipment and storage room. Given the recent emergency situations that have impacted the town, Fiona weather events, water main breaks, we feel that it's imperative that our designated storage room be stocked with the necessary equipment and materials to deal with such events. We discussed and directed the town manager and public works superintendent to immediately begin a full assessment of the current status of our facility and what will be required to ensure we are prepared to deal with emergency situations,” said Keeping. “A report will be prepared for our next public works meeting and presented to council during one of our future meetings.”

Next up was the procedure for public works and council approved directives.

"The committee, town manager, and the Public Works superintendent, we had a discussion on this topic to assure that we are all clear, that we all have clear communications and understanding of what is required to achieve council's goals, and we had to discuss on that,” said Keeping.

The property at Marine Drive was also on the committee's agenda.

“The committee held a conference call by Zoom with the senior project manager, Mike Anthony, to discuss our concerns regarding the use of our property at Marine Drive. After discussion, Mr. Anthony advised that he will follow up and investigate our issues and concerns with his site supervisor, after which time he will contact us to discuss ways and means to address our concerns,” said Keeping.

“He will contact our town manager within the next two weeks, so sometime this week or so, we probably should hear from him, and a note on the issues that was brought to our attention is the storage of materials inside of our building without approval, amount of demolition and contaminated materials. That's on the parking lot area, and their plans for cleanup and restorations and the amount of timber stored on the docking facilities and the possible impact of its weight on it.”

A separate meeting was held earlier, on Jan. 15, to discuss water main interruptions with representatives of Dr. Charles L. LeGrow hospital.

“After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that in future, that protocols before, during and after water main shutdowns will be strictly adhered to during these periods, and the reason we met with them — because I guess it's not simple — when we got a water main break, we shut off the water main, but the impact that it has on the health facility up there, it’s a big area, there’s dialysis treatment, and it's not as easy as, we get the lines repaired, then they can go back to doing their work in that particular area, because they have to shut down to get their filters cleared. So they could be two days, three days, sometimes maybe up to a week before they can start taking dialysis patients in for treatment,” explained Keeping.

“So it's important that we make sure that they're our first contact, let them know if it's an emergency break. If we have a plan, one in a given area, we need to give them adequate time so they can plan for transporting patients in and out of town, things like that.”

Recreation Report

On behalf of the Recreation Committee, new Recreation Director Andrew Davis presented the report from their last meeting, held on Monday, Jan. 15 at 6:00 p.m.

The first matter involved an investigation into an incident involving some members of the staff and users at the recreation facility.

“(There were) some complaints of staff members making inappropriate comments towards users of the building and they will be addressed by the recreation director,” said Davis. “Recommendations are also being brought forward by the HR committee in their next meeting.”

There is also movement on getting external lighting on the front and pool side of the building.

“The town manager is already in contact with Newfoundland Power for external lighting in the parking lot,” said Davis.

“There was a request put in. I haven't received a response back, so I'll follow up again,” said Town Manager Nadine Osmond.

An update was discussed about maintenance at the bowling alley.

“Colin Seymour has been in the Bruce arena to work on the track of the ball return and also restrung and calibrated two of the pin machines,” said Davis. “The recreation director is working with Colin to have him in to do maintenance before zones and provincials in February, as well to see if he can be around the building during these events when they are taking place.”

The Dextron unit has been replaced in the pool; however, an assessment needs to be done on some water damage that has happened in the pool before it can be reopened.

“Once the pool is open a meeting will be held with the lifeguards to set expectations for their roles and their positions,” said Davis.

The town mechanic was contacted to do the regular maintenance on the Zamboni, and quotes have been requested on replacing the scoreboard in the arena, but those aren’t the only concerns.

“The Green Spaces tour will take place in the spring months once the snow is off the ground, the dog park is to be looked at in the spring with the recreation areas and green spaces. There will be a review to replace the fencing in the dog park and quotes are also to be gathered by the recreation director for doggy bag stations,” said Davis. “A letter has been received from a local resident, and the recreation committee is aware of the concerns of the equipment. The Red Cross grant that we are applying for will go towards the maintenance of the equipment as well as replacing some outdated equipment. Also, the Town manager has been in contact with consultants regarding the start date for the roof on the building, sometime in the spring months, and updates are to come to the next committee meeting.”

The new dehumidifier has already been placed in the arena, and the company will be back to address an issue with the air duct.

"They will be back to put a piece of duct to the air duct,” said Davis. “I'm not too sure what their plans are, what they have to come back to replace, but it will be done.”

The Recreation Committee also wanted to address outstanding payments from residents.

“The Recreation Committee has come to the conclusion that residents must pay their outstanding balance before children can be considered for any other programming with town,” said Davis. “The recreation director, with the help of office staff, will stay on top of the issue to receive the money for the missing payments.”

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