Port aux Basques council highlights: October 26


Port aux Basques council
Port aux Basques council. – © File photo

By RYAN KING

PORT AUX BASQUES – The most recent council meeting was held in chambers at the town office on Tuesday evening, Oct. 26.

Public Health Forum

A resident who submitted a letter to council believes a public health forum should be held in the town to discuss the new hospital in Corner Brook. The resident believes discussion is needed on what services the hospital will offer, and which ones they will not. Of particular interest to the resident was the availability of a coronary catheterization unit, lithotripsy service, and positron emission tomography, all of which currently require residents to travel to St. John’s.

Mayor Brian Button noted that having a public forum now on the subject would be like ‘Putting the cart before the horse,’ as he has not yet had a chance to sit down with health officials to discuss the subject, after which he can then invite them to a forum. Having the information from the discussions would allow for a more productive public forum.

Municipal Enforcement Program

Another piece of correspondence concerned the Western Regional Service Board Enforcement Services Program.

The Board wrote that they have heard from many communities in the region who are looking to expand their services. One of the areas of greatest interest was municipal enforcement, as many communities cannot afford a full time officer. The Board’s municipal enforcement program will have the officer be a full time employee of the Board, and would service multiple communities, who would have scheduled access to the officer at $300 per day plus overnight expenses.

While Mayor Button noted that a municipal officer would be useful to the community, it seemed a costly venture.

“The amount of bylaws and different stuff we've got going on in our community, and they’re talking about, like you don’t come in for one day into this, so I just I don’t know. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but it seems rather pricey,” said Button.

Councillor Todd Strickland pointed out that the cost of having the enforcement officer could be offset by the collection of fines for violations. The matter will be brought to the next public works committee meeting, and council will await their recommendation.

“It gives us more flexibility in not only passing bylaws, but a lot of the times when we're here we're discussing bylaws one of the questions that gets raised is whether a bylaw is worth passing if we're not able to enforce it," said Button. "The good part of this particular piece is it gives the ability to bring somebody in and to enforce those bylaws, which you’re right, in turn you could reap the benefits of collecting – whether it’s collecting fines, or collecting permits, or whatever the case may be to offset the $300 a day."

Public Works Committee

Councillor Melvin Keeping submitted a report from the public works committee. The report included issues relating to the ATV route. Signage along the route along the Trans Canada Highway by Irvings was proving to be a hazard, so the town will be installing clearer signage. Grass had been damaged by ATVs near the Train Site, and to remedy the issue the town will widen the trail, provide clearer markings, and install a barrier to deter further damage.

Flooding on a property on First Avenue was investigated by the committee. The installation of a catch basin in the area to remedy the issue was discussed.

“The committee visited and met with the property owner. The town experienced heavy rainfalls on the day before which contributed to the amount of water there at the time of visit. However, the homeowner indicated that the town does have a drainage system behind the property. The town manager will arrange to have staff inspect the system and determine if there is any blockages or damage."

The committee recommend that an extra catch basin be installed in the system behind the residence.

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