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SV council discuss infrastructure and planning

Stephenville Town Council – file photo

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter STEPHENVILLE – The most recent council meeting took place on Thursday evening, Oct. 12 and matters discussed included the Stephenville industrial facility, donation to the Royal Canadian Legion’s poppy campaign, a long-term lease of land on Carolina Avenue, and extension on the Search and Rescue building, the Stephenville subdivision design, a recent visit from Minister Gudie Hutchings, and the new CNA wind related programs. Stephenville industrial facility Coun. Lenny Tiller moved that it was the recommendation of the Finance Committee that the Town of Stephenville issue a request for proposal for the sale of land and industrial facility building located on Connecticut Drive. “This facility that has been owned by the town of Stephenville for quite some years. It was the former paper shed from Abitibi Price. It’s located at the dock and it is the second largest industrial facility in the province of Newfoundland. It is 100,000 square feet. It’s 60 feet high with three independent bays, 20-ton cranes, and upgrades were completed on this 10 to 15 years ago, I believe, but I can’t remember the exact date,” said Mayor Tom Rose. “It was part of the fund agreement between the feds, the province, and the town. We put over $2 million of town taxes into that building for renovation and it has been leased many times since the completion of that work. It was a $10 million upgrade, but hopefully this time it may be an opportunity for us to sell the asset. As a municipality, my belief is that our main goal is to provide services, clean water, pick up the garbage, pave the streets, clear the snow, have good recreation, and take care of our environment. There’s so many things we do, but owning commercial assets, I think that’s in the better hands of the private sector, but we did play a critical role in renovating it with a $10 million upgrade. So it’s nice to see that we have interest and there’s no doubt it’s because of everything happening in here with World Energy and the Dymond Group and other companies that are looking at Stephenville, knowing that Stephenville is a place where the business and economic climates are growing.” The motion was passed unanimously by council. Poppy Remembrance campaign Coun. Tiller read a request for donation that was submitted to the Finance committee, asking that the Town of Stephenville make a donation to the Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Remembrance Campaign. It was the recommendation of the Finance committee that a donation in the amount of $250 be made. “As a veteran myself, when we support local Royal Canadian Legion, we’re supporting veterans and their families,” said Rose. “There’s been veterans from the region that have been part of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Afghanistan, and we still have men and women in uniform that put the uniform on to fight for our liberties and our democracies. So we’re to be commended for what the region does in supporting their members.” The motion was passed unanimously by council. Land lease on Carolina Avenue Coun. Laura Aylward put forth a motion on behalf of the Planning and Traffic committee requesting a long-term lease of land on Carolina Avenue. “It’s nice to see interest in the assets of the town. As we well know, the ramp area was a busy spot, but with the closing of the air base, it’s not so busy, but there’s some good businesses along there. I see some great improvements, some new businesses moving in,” said Rose. “And when you talk about heavy industry and major projects, to have that lay down area for everything from storing the cells and turbines and electrolyzers, to set up work camps, we’re very fortunate, and we’re also very fortunate should the camps go in these locations that they’re able to tie into the town’s water and sewer system, because in most places they would have to ship in potable water, they’d have to take out the sewer, and it is a very cautious and complicated process, even from an environmental perspective. We do treat all of our sewer. We are compliant with the federal government, we have a Navidos system, which is German engineered, and now we’re going to be shipping ammonia to Hamburg, Germany, so there’s connections there.” The motion was passed unanimously by council. Extension for S&R building Coun. Aylward put forth a request regarding the Search and Rescue building on St. Clare Avenue, asking for a permit to construct an extension on their current building for storage, as per the plan submitted, with approval of Service NL. “It’s nice to see that they’re putting an extension on. That means that they have more equipment, and if you’ve got a bigger toolbox, you can get the job done a little bit better, that’s my take on that,” said Rose. “But they’re another division of people in uniform, and when people are in trouble — and people tend to be in trouble when the weather is nasty — they jump out of their beds, 24/7 like the RNC and RCMP, firefighters and military. They go and they try to save a life, but they put their lives at risk too, so they’re to be commended. At our last 9/11 dinner, we recognized that next year for the 9/11 dinner, we will be recognizing the role of ground search and rescue.” The motion was passed unanimously by council. Subdivision design Under bylaws and regulations, approval was requested to adopt the town’s engineering design standards for subdivision design. “Management has subdivision agreements that tend to be standardized documents, that we enter into a legal contract with private developers, for example, to build a hundred-unit subdivision for residential housing. But there are certain standards that have to be put in place with the water line and size, sewer line size, depth of asphalt, curb, gutter, sidewalk, and all that comes back through planning, through council,” explained Rose. “But we have a standardized set of guidelines that was refreshed because our old subdivision agreements normally haven’t been refreshed, but the good news is we’ve had a professional engineering firm, All North, complete this through management. So it’s a good step. It shows due diligence, and it shows that a policy has been reinforced.” The notion was passed unanimously by council. Minister Gudie Hutchings Mayor Rose said they recently had a visit from Minister Hutchings, and believes that overall it was a positive experience. “It was a good discussion. We talked about (how) there’s a new framework coming down through the federal government and the provincial government on municipal capital works, and there’s some talk about final decisions about what projects get approved. It was her belief that sometimes the province will select and tell us what they think, but really it should be us saying what we think because the rubber hits the road here,” said Rose. “We know and our management (and) staff know what our priorities are, so that’s being jockeyed around. We’ll see what happens there. We also brought up the potential from a tourism perspective, the subterranean structure, the mobile. It’s 18,000 square feet below grade. It is a very unique structure, and we mentioned that Heritage Canada may be able to do a review of it to see its worthiness to become a national heritage site which will be a federal designation. So we will have Heritage Canada people come to visit us to do an analysis on it to see is it worthy because it is so unique, so we’ll see how that goes.” New CNA programs Mayor Rose said he was very happy to see the movement on the new wind development related programs at the College of the North Atlantic (CNA). “They did fast track this and it’s great leadership by the team and the deans and the president and all those involved from faculty administration up. But they have partnered with DOB because DOB is the leader in the Netherlands when it comes to advanced training in the hydrogen wind, and it’s just good to see that here,” said Rose. “We are headquartered in Stephenville, the College of North Atlantic. We have the newest modern building, the flagship, of the College of North Atlantic here, and now we’ve got brand new wind technician course in Stephenville. That’s an emerging energy sector that has now got its eyes out in Stephenville. From the day that the German Chancellor and the Prime Minister arrived in Stephenville on August 23, 2022, the eyes are on Stephenville. We are now a global asset to help reverse climate change, to help companies decarbonize.”

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