Spaniard’s Bay to hire works supervisor
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.