Town council met on Jan. 23 to look at matters involving the Bruce II and school bus safety, and to hash out details on the region’s garbage collection. Here are some of the highlights.
A delegate questioned why services were not being received despite regularly paying a sizeable property tax. Council clarified that the original surveyor had mistakenly deemed the resident’s property to be on a public road, but the road is in fact a private right of way and as such, the resident is not entitled to snow-clearing and garbage-collection services.
The property owners were advised to install a garbage box at the end of their right of way on the town road for collection, but that snow clearing would still be their responsibility. The town is still providing water and fire protection services to that location.
The curling club is looking at upgrading its bar area and wishes to install a jet ice system. Council will invite the club to present a more thorough report of what exactly this will entail before rendering a decision.
Those wishing to rent an area of the Bruce II for a private function will be required to sign a contact, abide by a 24-hour cancellation notice due to staffing considerations, and make a rental deposit.
A two-tier system will be implemented for registration of programs at the Bruce II, which will include swimming lessons and the summer sports program. The first session will be for residents of Channel-Port aux Basques, and the second for patrons outside the community. The lottery system, such as one currently used for swimming lessons, will still be continued.
A concerned parent reached out to council for help addressing school bus safety after a recent report in the Gulf News about drivers passing school buses as children are being picked up or dropped off.
Mayor John Spencer noted that the RCMP tracked down the driver referred to in news story and issued a ticket.
Council intends to send a letter asking the parent to speak at a council meeting and see how they can help. Council will also reach out to the school bus service owner and see if perhaps dash cams can be installed in the buses.
Snowmobilers who are driving too close to the war memorial to access the trail might be better served if a corner could be designated for them to safely cross a little further away.
Public works will reach out to the Legion to see about dropping a chain near the preferred corner, about five to 10 feet away from the monument, and erecting posts to mark the new path.
Josh Carey has been elected as the new chair of Western Regional Waste Management (WRWM). Burgeo councillor Barbara Barter has been named vice-chair.
Port aux Basques will continue its curbside collection until July of 2018 when the new transfer station becomes operational, but asked WRWM for help in preparing a tender for curbside for the southwest coast after that date. Once that information and costs have been determined, communities in the region will have to decide what will best work for them.
The town has also asked WRWM and MHA Andrew Parsons for help in dealing with its aging garbage trucks.
The 2016 audit found the town’s finances to be in order. In 2016 the town registered a surplus of $52,490. The next audit will likely begin in March and finish by June. The town also reported a 95 per cent collection rate. The full report will be made available on the town’s website.