Meet­ing ‘a step for­ward’

The Compass - - TRIN­ITY SOUTH -

Be­fore they got to the meet­ing in Heart’s Con­tent, the min­is­ters were in Heart’s De­light-Is­ling­ton meet­ing with the town coun­cil and vol­un­teer fire depart­ment, who are look­ing for a new fire truck.

To un­der­score the prov­ince-wide de­mand for fire­fight­ing equip­ment, O’Brien said, “we have 89 re­quests for new fire trucks and I have $2.5 mil­lion in my bud­get for such equip­ment. The av­er­age cost of a new truck is $200,000 — so do the math.”

To meet all the de­mands for fire trucks alone the min­is­ter would need over $17 mil­lion in his bud­get for such equip­ment.

Sug­gest­ing the re­quest from Heart’s De­light-Is­ling­ton is not ex­trav­a­gant, he noted, “they’re not look­ing for one with all the bells and whis­tles.” He said they only want one to help fight fires within the area they serve with­out com­pro­mis­ing their own com­mu­nity’s needs.

Re­gion­al­iza­tion

Asked about re­gion­al­iza­tion, O’Brien said, “that’s not on for us.” How­ever, gov­ern­ment does en­cour­age the shar­ing of ser­vices for the com­mon good of all com­mu­ni­ties in a re­gion that stand to ben­e­fit from such an ar­range­ment.

The min­is­ter said he saw a “real com­rade­ship” among the Trin­ity South com­mu­nity lead­ers who gath­ered in Heart’s Con­tent for their meet­ing.

O’Brien said he plans to meet with groups like the Trin­ity-Bay de Verde joint may­ors “on an on­go­ing ba­sis.”

Speak­ing on be­half of the may­ors, Fred Driscoll said they were able to raise a num­ber of is­sues and con­cerns, from the need to up­grade the Heart’s Con­tent Bar­rens and the need for more high­way main­te­nance, in­clud­ing ditch­ing, prefer­ably op­er­at­ing from the trans­porta­tion de­pot in Heart’s Con­tent to the con­di­tion of the Heart’s Con­tent Ca­ble Sta­tion, which needs some work, the lack of cell phone ser­vice in the area and the new regime for waste man­age­ment.

While no firm com­mit­ments were made, none were ex­pected.

The as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers were sat­is­fied to have had the cab­i­net min­is­ters’ ears for an hour and a half.

Point­ing out “we had a chance to voice our con­cerns,” the chair­man said he felt, “they were lis­tened to.”

“Over­all, I was sat­is­fied with the meet­ing,” Driscoll con­cluded. “It was a step for­ward and a step in the right di­rec­tion.”

The chair­man said they hope to have ei­ther the min­is­ter of trans­porta­tion and works or an of­fi­cial from Eastern Waste Man­age­ment at their next meet­ing, sched­uled for April 20 in Heart’s De­sire.

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