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Port aux Basques unveils new Municipal Depot

Channel-Port aux Basques Mayor John Spencer (left) and MHA Andrew Parsons (Burgeo – La Poile) cut the ribbon to officially open the town’s new municipal garage on Friday, Dec. 4. – © J. René Roy / Wreckhouse Press Inc.

PORT AUX BASQUES – “It’s been a busy week”, says Channel-Port aux Basques Mayor John Spencer. “With the new fire truck arriving, and with our new Municipal Garage officially being opened here this morning, it has been a good week.”

The opening of the new $3.5 million dollar facility on Hopedale Avenue has been beleaguered by delays thanks to COVID-19 supply issues, but on Friday morning, it was officially opened by Mayor Spencer and MHA Andrew Parsons (Burgeo-La Poile). Town employees and members of council were also present for the official opening of the new facility.

The building has state of the art technology according to Town Manager Leon MacIsaac.

“It’s equipped with an ERV-1 Heat pump system, there are backup pumps, and a backup oil heating system. Everything is on a SCADA system. Thats an electronic system for heating and cooling, which can be controlled from the main office in St John’s,” says MacIsaac.

MacIsaac says the building is a major upgrade over the old facility, featuring amenities not available in the old town depot, which is located downtown across from Town Hall.

The new depot has extras that include male and female washrooms, change rooms, shower facilities, and laundry service. There’s also a full kitchen and large dining area.

The building was cost shared in a 50/50 split with the federal and provincial governments.

There are still some finishing touches to be put in, such as paving and landscaping, which can’t be done until the spring.

Mayor Spencer says the new modern depot is a dream that started back in the 1990s when he was a member of council.

“It’s a fantastic facility, long overdue,” says Spencer. “It’s a safe working environment for our workers, and it’s somewhere they can come to work in the morning, and they can be proud of.”

There are no confirmed plans yet for the old municipal garage.

“That work starts on Monday, as to what we are going to do,” says Spencer.

Ideally the plan is to dismantle the old garage and clean up the area. The town hopes to avail of more government funding to accomplish that.

He adds that the transition to the new depot will be gradual, adding that, “Once everything gets going, it’s our ambition that everything (including fueling of town vehicles) will be done here.”

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