Pool pro­ject pri­or­ity takes toll on other re­cre­ation, green spaces

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BILL BOW­MAN

The on­go­ing ren­o­va­tion pro­ject at the Car­bon­ear Swim­ming Pool has taken up so much of the re­cre­ation and tourism depart­ment’s time and at­ten­tion, the pri­or­ity given to it has been at the ex­pense of the town’s other re­cre­ation fa­cil­i­ties, Coun. David Kennedy feels.

Coun. Kennedy raised the is­sue at the last reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing June 6.

“ Now ev­ery­thing else is af­ter be­cause of it,” Kennedy sug­gested.

The coun­cil­lor was re­fer­ring to other re­cre­ation fa­cil­i­ties and green spaces around town, where in some cases grass has not been cut.

Coun. Gla­dys Mercer agreed. “ There should be a plan in place for the main­te­nance of our green spaces, which are so vi­tal to the town,” she said.

The fo­cus of at­ten­tion on the pool has meant a late start on cut­ting the grass on the town’s green spaces, which didn’t get started un­til last Mon­day.

“If you don’t have am­ple staff,” Mercer sug­gested to re­cre­ation and tourism di­rec­tor Rob But­ton, “see the town ad­min­is­tra­tor to get the help you need. Ev­ery­body else has to take care of their prop­erty.”

Dep. Mayor Ches Ash said, “there comes a point in time when the grass has to be mowed. My sug­ges­tion to the re­cre­ation di­rec­tor would be if you don’t have the work­ers, ad­dress it with coun­cil.”

Mercer sug­gested, “ you’ve got to have a plan — if we don’t have the staff, some­one’s got to do it, sup­pos­ing we have to hire some­one else to do it.”

suf­fer­ing

Efficient work or­der sys­tem needed

Kennedy would like to see some kind of on­line work-or­der re­port­ing sys­tem im­ple­mented in the town. He com­plained the cur­rent sys­tem is too slow, which makes it hard to keep up-to-date with what has or has not been done.

“I don’t think the town is try­ing hard enough to bring in a new sys­tem, and I’m not sure why,” he said. “I’m with Coun. Kennedy on this,” said Ash. He said they looked at one sys­tem, which seemed to fit the bill, and they were wait­ing on an­other firm to demon­strate an­other sys­tem. “But we can only wait so long for a demon­stra­tion.”

Di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and pub­lic works Brian O’Grady ac­knowl­edged the town has looked at some sys­tems and town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis has looked into the costs.

Re­quest­ing the town ad­min­is­tra­tor to ask the com­pany for a demon­stra­tion as soon as pos­si­ble, Ash said, “ we re­ally need that in place. It would be of great ben­e­fit to both coun­cil and ad­min­is­tra­tion. We re­ally don’t have to be both­er­ing them about work or­ders if it were in place.”

Ash said he would like to see the sys­tem in place for the next coun­cil meet­ing.

Cof­fee shop ap­proved

Coun­cil has ap­proved an ap­pli­ca­tion to ren­o­vate a build­ing at 179 Wa­ter Street to be op­er­ated as a cof­fee shop.

The per­mit to ren­o­vate is sub­ject to it meet­ing the Town of Car­bon­ear Mu­nic­i­pal Plan and De­vel­op­ment Reg­u­la­tions and the re­quired ap­provals of the Depart­ment of Gov­ern­ment Ser­vices and Lands and other ap­pli­ca­ble gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and agen­cies.

Built in 1929 by Avalon Tele­phone Co. as a tele­phone of­fice, the con­crete struc­ture also served as an art gallery be­fore be­com­ing va­cant sev­eral years ago.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was one of mo­tions rec­om­mended by the de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee, which were passed at the June 6 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing.

New col­lec­tive agree­ment

Coun­cil adopted a new three-year col­lec­tive agree­ment. The deal was ne­go­ti­ated be­tween the town and the Trans­port and Al­lied Union/Team­sters, which rep­re­sents the town’s work­ers. It is ef­fec­tive from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2013.

Pub­lic Works

Acting on a rec­om­men­da­tion from the pub­lic works com­mit­tee, coun­cil de­cided to rent a screener from Con­cord Paving Ltd. The de­vice is used to screen Class A and top­soil. The town has an op­tion to pur­chase the screener, where the to­tal pay­out (in­clud­ing rental) to Con­cord Paving would not ex­ceed $20,000.

De­scrib­ing the sav­ings from rent­ing the screener as “quite sig­nif­i­cant,” O’Grady, noted, “sav­ings in Class A and top­soil would al­low the screener to pay for it­self within its first year.”

Clean-up or­der

A clean-up or­der is to be sent to the owner of prop­erty at 33B O’Driscoll’s Lane to re­move scrapped ve­hi­cles and other de­bris.

Spe­cial Events Com­mit­tee

Krista Pike, Chris O’Keefe and El­iz­a­beth Slade are the new­est vol­un­teer mem­bers of the town’s Spe­cial Events Com­mit­tee. Coun­cil ap­proved the new ad­di­tions rec­om­mended by Coun. Gla­dys Mercer, who chairs the re­cre­ation, tourism and cul­ture com­mit­tee.

Parsons nom­i­nated

Coun. Mercer told coun­cil Florence But­ton, pro­ject man­ager of the Car­bon­ear Is­land Pro­ject, has nom­i­nated Bert Parsons for the 2011 pro­vin­cial Se­niors Dis­tinc­tion Award.

Parsons, who heads the Car­bon­ear Her­itage So­ci­ety, was nom­i­nated for his con­sid­er­able con­tri­bu­tions to the preser­va­tion of the town’s his­tory through that group.

Mayor Sam Slade also sup­ported the nom­i­na­tion in a letter to the pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Health and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, which spon­sors the award.

An­niver­sary Cup

The Life­sav­ing So­ci­ety has awarded its An­niver­sary Cup to the Car­bon­ear Swim­ming Pool.

The award goes to a year-round fa­cil­ity with the high­est num­ber of life­sav­ing pro­gram points in a com­mu­nity with a pop­u­la­tion un­der 5,000. The Car­bon­ear Swim­ming Pool had the top stand­ing of fa­cil­i­ties in this cat­e­gory for 2010.

El­iz­a­beth Evely, aquat­ics di­rec­tor at the swim­ming pool, ac­cepted the award on the town’s be­half June 3.

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