Spa­niard’s Bay to hire works su­per­vi­sor

The Compass - - P2011ORTHTE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

The Town of Spa­niard’s Bay is mov­ing for­ward with plans to hire a pub­lic works su­per­vi­sor.

Coun­cil de­cided at its Oct 24 meet­ing to ad­ver­tise for the full-time po­si­tion, which will com­mence in Jan­uary.

“We’ve grown to a point where we need su­per­vi­sion for pu­bic works around the town, as well as ad­dress the grow­ing need for mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment (of by­laws),” said town clerk/man­ager Tony Ryan.

The town has ex­pe­ri­enced growth of be­tween 25 to 40 homes an­nu­ally over the past five years, Ryan ex­plained.

Up to this point, the town has re­lied on a work­ing fore­man and the town clerk/man­ager to over­see the ac­tiv­i­ties of the five union­ized pub­lic works staff. The new su­per­vi­sor will re­port to the town clerk/man­ager.

“It will im­prove our ef­fi­ciency, and make im­prove­ment to the ser­vices that we pro­vide for res­i­dents,” Ryan said.

In ad­di­tion to du­ties as a pub­lic works su­per­vi­sor, the po­si­tion will also in­clude lim­ited plan­ning and en­force­ment du­ties.

Spa­niard’s Bay has some 1,000-plus house­holds, and an an­nual op­er­at­ing bud­get of about $2.25 mil­lion.

Coun­cil has en­dorsed a plan to cost-share the pur­chase of up to six new emer­gency pagers for the fire depart­ment. Fire Chief Vic­tor His­cock has es­ti­mated the to­tal cost at up to $3,600.

The fire depart­ment has fundraised some $2,300 in re­cent months for the pur­chase, and re­quested some as­sis­tance from the town for the re­main­ing.

It’s been three or four years since the bri­gade pur­chased any new ones, His­cock ex­plained, and some in the in­ven­tory are two decades old.

His­cock added that re­pair costs are start­ing to mount, and find­ing parts for the older mod­els is get­ting harder.

His­cock said the bri­gade is also in the process of up­grad­ing its hoses and fit­tings.

The town bud­gets about $10,000 yearly for the fire depart­ment, and up to last month, only 30 per cent had been spent, said Coun. Wayne Smith.

“There is room to help,” Smith said dur­ing a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing.

Town signs new garbage con­tract

The town has agreed to a new three- year roughly $602,000 con­tract with Lynch’s Truck­ing for res­i­den­tial and bulk garbage col­lec­tion.

As in past years, the town will share the cost of the con­tract with the neigh­bour­ing Town of Up­per Is­land Cove, with Spa­niard’s Bay pay­ing 60 per cent, or about $ 120,000 an­nu­ally. The Up­per Is­land Cove town coun- cil is ex­pected to rat­ify the con­tract at its reg­u­lar meet­ing this week.

Un­like pre­vi­ous con­tracts, how­ever, bulk garbage col­lec­tion — on a weekly, as-needed ba­sis — is now in­cluded. The town used to hire the com­pany’s equip­ment on an hourly ba­sis for bulk col­lec­tions, with much of the work be­ing car­ried out by the town’s union­ized em­ploy­ees.

Town of­fi­cials are ex­pected to dis­cuss the is­sue dur­ing a meet­ing with the union in the com­ing days, but have promised there will be no lay­offs.

In fact, some coun­cil­lors say that re­mov­ing this duty from pub­lic works will free up staff to do more im­por­tant tasks, such as beau­ti­fi­ca­tion and reg­u­lar main­te­nance.

“We are ty­ing up our men pick­ing up this ( bulk) garbage,” said Coun. Wayne Smith. “They can do more im­por­tant things than pick up garbage.”

The two towns have been shar­ing garbage col­lec­tion costs for about two decades, ex­plained town clerk/man­ager Tony Ryan.

“When you ten­der jointly, you stand to gain a bet­ter rate be­cause of the higher vol­ume,” Ryan said.

By in­clud­ing bulk garbage col­lec­tion in the con­tract, the town will ac­tu­ally save money, Ryan added.

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