Town ap­proves sus­tain­abil­ity plan

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH - BY ANDREW ROBIN­SON

The Town of Spa­niard’s Bay gave its fi­nal ap­proval to the In­te­grated Com­mu­nity Sus­tain­abil­ity Plan (ICSP), pre­pared by Mount Pearl con­sult­ing firm Plan-Tech En­vi­ron­ment, at its March 21 coun­cil meet­ing.

The 27-page doc­u­ment, not in­clud­ing ap­pen­dices, took in­put from coun­cil­lors, town staff, and res­i­dents on how they viewed the town and where they would like to see it go.

A ta­ble on pages 9-11 of the doc­u­ment out­lines the sus­tain­abil­ity con­cerns of those who at­tended a pub­lic meet­ing in­volved in the for­mu­la­tion of the ICSP. Amongst those in­volved with the town, there ap­peared a con­sen­sus on the need to fo­cus on de­vel­op­ment of the planned com­mer­cial park to at­tract busi­nesses, im­prove in­fra­struc­ture, and up­grade and pave gravel roads.

Res­i­dents who of­fered their opin­ions on sus­tain­abil­ity mat­ters backed up the town’s views on in­fra­struc­ture, while also point­ing out the need for im­proved trans­porta­tion ( par­tic­u­larly for se­niors), a multi-use fa­cil­ity, a se­nior’s com­plex, and a con­tin­ued ef­fort to im­prove Lassy Days, the com­mu­nity’s an­nual sum­mer fes­ti­val. The au­thor of the plan also wrote, “re­spon­dents felt re­cre­ation fa­cil­i­ties were not meet­ing the needs of the com­mu­nity.”

Green spaces and trails were given a thumbs-up by re­spon­dents, as was the preser­va­tion of cul­ture and her­itage in the com­mu­nity. The ICSP noted that res­i­dents, coun­cil­lors and staff all ex­pressed the need for a town cen­tre to ac­com­mo­date a va­ri­ety of users in Spa­niard’s Bay.

The ICSP maps out fur­ther goals for the town on the en­vi­ron­ment, so­cial de­vel­op­ment, roads and trans­porta­tion, re­cre­ation and tourism, and mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices.

The com­ple­tion of the plan is a re­quire­ment of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in or­der for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to re­ceive gas tax funds. Ac­cord­ing to the plan, the town has ear­marked $112,825 of gas tax funds to be used for both wa­ter and sewer and road up­grades in the com­mu­nity. Need for new town hall Deputy Mayor Tony Men­chions, chair of the fi­nance com­mit­tee, said he would like the town to look at po­ten­tial cap­i­tal fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to use to­wards the con­struc­tion of a new town hall.

The deputy mayor brought up con­cerns about air qual­ity, damp­ness is­sues in the base­ment, and the lack of wheel­chair ac­ces­si­bil­ity at the build­ing, amongst other de­fi­cien­cies, in back­ing up his call for a new town hall.

Town man­ager Tony Ryan said any move to fund a new town hall would re­quire mak­ing an ad­just­ment to its five-year plan, which maps out com­mit­ments for fu­ture cap­i­tal spend­ing.

Coun. Wayne Smith added that the town al­ready has ma­jor pri­or­i­ties in place. Some of those likely stem from the in­crease in res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment, as well the po­ten­tial needs to be ad­dressed in ser­vic­ing the planned busi­ness park along­side Vet­eran’s Me­mo­rial High­way.

Mayor John Drover, speak­ing af­ter the meet­ing, said the is­sue has been dis­cussed many times over the last num­ber of years.

For now, the town will fol­low up on the deputy mayor’s rec­om­men­da­tion to look at av­enues for ob­tain­ing funds to go to­wards a new town hall. New staff po­si­tion cre­ated The town is ad­ver­tis­ing to hire a plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment tech­ni­cian, a new po­si­tion on its staff. The job will serve a pur­pose sim­i­lar to that of an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, said Deputy Mayor Men­chions.

Re­port­ing to the town man­ager, the tech­ni­cian will over­see the town’s plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment depart­ment and main­tain re­la­tion­ships with var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions and dif­fer­ent lev­els of gov­ern­ment. Amongst the job holder’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties will be writ­ing re­ports and grant ap­pli­ca­tions. The mo­tion to ad­ver­tise for the po­si­tion was unan­i­mously ap­proved by coun­cil.

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