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Stephenville council highlights

Stephenville council last met in chambers on Thursday evening, Oct. 21. – © Jaymie L. White

By JAYMIE L. WHITE Special to the Appalachian

STEPHENVILLE – The most recent Stephenville Town Council meeting took place on Thursday evening, Oct. 21. Mayor Tom Rose and Deputy Mayor Susan Fowlow were out of town on business, but attended via video conference. Councilor Laura Aylward chaired the meeting in their absence.

Items discussed included Co-Op week, tax reports, the tender for skid steer and loader, a grant for the Stephenville dome, and various commercial renovations.

Co-Op Week

The town discussed this year’s Co-Op week, which was held Oct. 18-22. The week was properly proclaimed at a previous Planning and Traffic meeting. Mayor Tom Rose said it is an important business to recognize in the region.

“The Co-Op have been long standing in our community. They opened their doors in 1968, two years after the air base closed,” said Rose. “This creates a lot of economics and creates jobs. There’s 30-40 people that work at the Co-Op with building supplies and food products, and it just showed during COVID the importance of food and food security. So I just want to commend the Board of Directors and the Co-Op on reaching a significant milestone of being in business so long and to praise Co-Op week.”

Councillor Laura Aylward agreed adding, “The fact that the Co-op is run by the volunteer board makes it even nicer.”

Tax reports

Coun. Myra White chaired the reports from the Finance Committee and recommended property tax write-offs in the amount of $6,981.66, remission of $646.20 in tax, water and sewer tax adjustments in the amount of $1,968 and $150.75 business tax adjustments.

All recommendations were approved unanimously. Council also approved the expense cheque listing for Sept. 2021 totaling $731,148.35, and the accounts payable listing totaling $121,813.49.

Tenders

Coun. White moved that the town award tender for Skid Steer Loader and attachments to the lowest bidder, Battlefield Equipment Rentals, in the amount of $137,815.35 plus applicable taxes. This amount includes two snowblowers and a pick-up broom with a four year warranty. Mayor Rose explained why it is an important investment to make.

“Purchasing this skid steer loader and attachments will allow our Public Works Department to have a little bit better and more advanced equipment and play a critical role strictly in the winter season, which is pretty lengthy in Stephenville at times – five months for the most part,” said Rose. “But its ability to handle our sidewalks and small grass areas is going to be great for the community and will hopefully play a role to mitigate ice and snow that may pose problems for people slipping and falling, so I think it’s a great investment.”

Commercial renovations

Coun. Tristan Hulan presented the Planning and Traffic Committee reports, which included the approval of various permits to operate roadside vendors, the subdivision of a parcel of land located at 73-79 Hansen Memorial Highway, and the approval of a permit to occupy the building at 53-55 Main Street to accommodate a new retail/personal care business. Coun. Hulan also moved that three separate permits be approved for renovations at businesses in Stephenville.

Mayor Tom Rose said that the renovations being undertaken are having an overall positive impact on the community.

“I don’t know if the rest of council has noticed, but over the last three months I’ve noticed quite a bit of renovations starting to happen around Stephenville, especially with some of the commercial buildings,” said Rose. “It’s great to see. A fresh coat of paint, new siding, new stairs, it really shows a bright spot in our community and that it’s starting to thrive, and it builds a lot of pride in our community to see residents, and business and commercial operators enhancing their properties.”

All recommendations were approved, subject to compliance with all Town regulations.

Grant for Stephenville Dome

Coun. White recommended on behalf of the Finance Committee that the town give a grant to the Stephenville Dome in the amount of $8,700 in order to assist them with COVID-19 guidelines. Before the motion was seconded, Coun. Aylward requested clarification. Aylward wanted to know if the amount requested included the $1,700 that was requested a few days prior. Coun. Lenny Tiller explained that the $1,700 that was already requested was within their budget, so it was a separate item. The motion was passed.

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