Coun­cil re­view­ing ipads

Town staff test­ing out high-tech de­vices

The Compass - - OPINION - THE COM­PASS BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

There is an ef­fort to go green in the Bay Roberts town coun­cil and it is start­ing with the town clerk, Shirley Hawe, and the chief ad­min­stra­tive of­fi­cer, Nigel Black.

For the re­main­der of the summer, the pair will be us­ing new iPads for coun­cil meet­ings and other coun­cil ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The pur­pose for th­ese two for hav­ing one is to pre­pare a re­port to coun­cil to see whether or not a rec­om­men­da­tion will be made for coun­cil to pur­chase iPads for coun­cil use,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood. “They can work out the kinks and we’ll de­cide on the pur­chase of other de­vices in the fall.”

The mayor said the de­ci­sion to pur­chase th­ese iPads was based on what town of­fi­cials saw at provin­cial con­fer­ences.

Towns like Con­cep­tion Bay South, Mount Pearl, Clarenville and Gan­der cur­rently pro­vide iPads to its coun­cil­lors for town func­tions.

The de­ci­sion was based on the amount of staff time used to pho­to­copy and pre­pare coun­cil doc­u­ments.

Woods sur­mised that each week there are some 1,400 pho­to­copies made for each meet­ing.

“With the em­pha­sis on be­ing green and go­ing green, the iPads are def­i­nitely the way to go when it re­lates to that,” he said.

Woods in­di­cated that Hawe has been in con­tact with other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties about how best to ap­ply the tech­nol­ogy.

“Ini­tial re­ports have been promis­ing,” he said.

Coun­try Road de­bate rages on

Coun­try Road res­i­dent Roland Par­sons ap­peared in coun­cil June 12 with the pur­pose of mak­ing his case for changes to the us­age of the road as a thor­ough­fare.

Par­sons pre­sented a let­ter with his con­cerns and was open to an­swer­ing any ques­tions posed by coun­cil­lors.

“There has been ex­ces­sive traf­fic through Coun­try Road since last year’s up­grade to wa­ter and sewer on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way,” he wrote in a let­ter.

Par­sons has per­son­ally wit­nessed close to 200 cars use the road per hour on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.

He said that num­ber was an av­er­age for week­day us­age and on week­ends the num­ber in­creases, adding “you can for­get about it.”

“I would es­ti­mate that more than 90 per cent of ve­hi­cles are us­ing Coun­try Road to ac­cess the high­way and many of them are driv­ing well beyond the posted 40 kilo­me­tres per hour limit,” he wrote.

Par­sons ex­pressed his opin­ion that it is not safe for pedes­tri­ans to use the road be­cause of its width.

Not only has the large vol­ume of traf­fic been a prob­lem for the res­i­dents, but an in­crease in the us­age of the road by all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles (ATVs) has be­come a prob­lem.

Par­sons told coun­cil that the users of the ATVs travel the road at “dan­ger­ous speeds.”

Coun. Clarence Mercer sug­gested that the mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer, Perry Bow­er­ing, be re­quested to in­crease his pa­trols in the area, cit­ing his success rate with ATVs.

An­other op­tion pro­posed by coun­cil was to pos­si­bly make the road a one-way street.

A num­bers prob­lem

Town of­fi­cials ex­pressed worry over the fact that there are still a good por­tion of res­i­dents who do not have street num­bers promi­nently dis­played on their homes and busi­nesses.

A by­law was cre­ated on Sept. 17, 2010 re­quir­ing all res­i­dents to have their home and busi­ness num­bers dis­played.

“I strongly sug­gest that our at­tempts to date are not re­sult­ing com­pli­ance rates nec­es­sary to save lives in the com­mu­nity,” said Mercer.

The coun­cil­lor in­di­cated that he had sur­veyed Wa­ter Street res­i­dences and busi­nesses, start­ing at the CB High­way, and found that 115 prop­er­ties did not have any civic ad­dress promi­nently dis­played and vis­i­ble from the street.

An ad­di­tional 165 prop­er­ties were found in a sim­i­lar sur­vey con­ducted from Shearstown to the end of But­lerville.

“That’s 380 prop­er­ties along just two of our main streets,” said Mercer. “You can just imag­ine the rate of com­pli­ance among some of our town’s side roads. Peo­ple are not tak­ing this se­ri­ously and look­ing at our pleas as a nui­sance rather than show a gen­uine con­cern … to save lives and help res­i­dences.”

Mercer said that on the day of the coun­cil meet­ing he had been told by the MEO that the RCMP was hav­ing trou­ble lo­cat­ing the home o f a res­i­dent who had placed an emer­gency call be­cause no street num­ber was dis­played.

“When an emer­gency ve­hi­cle has to drive past a res­i­dence sev­eral times try­ing to zero in on a spe­cific prop­erty, valu­able time is lost,” he said. “It could be a life or death cir­cum­stance.”

Mercer sug­gested that coun­cil in­crease its vig­i­lance when try­ing to make the pub­lic aware of the in­her­ent dan­gers in not post­ing civic ad­dress num­bers.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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