Field dis­pute re­mains un­re­solved

Bay Roberts coun­cil wants soc­cer fa­cil­ity ready for next sea­son

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The sta­tus of the much-ma­ligned new soc­cer pitch in Bay Roberts con­tin­ues to be booted around as a dis­pute con­tin­ues over who is re­spon­si­ble for drainage prob­lems.

The mod­ern fa­cil­ity has been of­flim­its for users for most of the past two sea­sons be­cause the field be­comes soggy and un­safe for play­ers fol­low­ing a heavy rain.

Orig­i­nally, the BAE-New­plan Group, the town’s engi­neer­ing con­sul­tants, took re­spon­si­bil­ity for the short­com­ings, and com­mit­ted to mak­ing the nec­es­sary re­pairs. How­ever, the firm later backed off, ar­gu­ing that the con­trac­tor, Con­cord Paving of Car­bon­ear, failed to fol­low the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the lay­er­ing of soil.

Of­fi­cials with Con­cord have also de­nied re­spon­si­bil­ity, and both sides are now dis­put­ing who is at fault.

Of­fi­cials with the Town of Bay Roberts are hop­ing for a set­tle­ment to the im­passe, as soon as pos­si­ble.

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood said he is hop­ing to avoid the is­sue end­ing up in a le­gal bat­tle.

“We are hop­ing to come to an agree­ment with all three par­ties,” he said.

Wood said the town wants the work com­pleted “with no ad­di­tional costs” to the town.

If it hap­pens to ap­pear be­fore a judge, it could mean a pro­longed pe­riod with­out the town be­ing able to use the soc­cer field.

The goal for Bay Roberts is to have the field in tip-top con­di­tion for next sea­son, said Wood.

Mu­nic­i­pal as­sess­ments

Mean­while, there is grow­ing con­cern in Bay Roberts sur­round­ing the in­creased value in prop­erty as­sess­ments.

For the town, the av­er­age res­i­den­tial prop­erty value in­crease was 51 per cent, while the av­er­age com­mer­cial prop­erty rose by an av­er­age of 15 per cent.

Wood said the town is aware of the pres­sures this can put on home­own­ers in the community.

With the town al­ready ap­prov­ing 63 new homes in 2012, it is not sur­pris­ing to Wood that the val­ues of prop­er­ties in the community have in­creased.

“There will be a re­view in our bud­get con­sul­ta­tions, which start the end of Novem­ber,” he said.

There are a num­ber of op­tions avail­able to the town to help ease the strain of the in­creased as­sess­ment val­ues, with Wood point­ing to the prob­a­ble low­er­ing of the town’s mill rate, which cur­rently sits at 8.75.

Wood said he has been field­ing

Bay Roberts town coun­cil­lor Ger­ald Green­land.

calls from cit­i­zens con­cerned about an in­crease in taxes.

“Fifty-one per cent does not mean a 51 per cent raise in taxes,” he said.

Ten­der awarded

Ten­ders for up­grades and ex­ten­sion to the wa­ter main on L.T. Stick Drive ( for­merly CB Ac­cess Road) closed on Sept. 21.

Bay Roberts re­ceived eight ten­ders with bids rang­ing from $563,000 to $768,000.

Coun. Ger­ald Green­land made the mo­tion that the town awards the ten­der to New Har­bour com­pany H & B Con­struc­tion, who made the low bid of $563,464.33.

The move was ap­proved unan­i­mously.

The de­ci­sion still awaits ap­proval from the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs.

Amend­ing the town plan

With Bay Roberts grow­ing as fast as it is, the town coun­cil thought it para­mount to have a look at the town plan.

It asked St. John’s-based com­pany CBCL Lim­ited to take a look at the cur­rent plan.

CBCL made a num­ber of amend­ments to the plan, and they are cur­rently un­der re­view by the town coun­cil.

“We’re just tidy­ing up the bound­aries and tidy­ing up the loose ends,” said Wood.

Once coun­cil has ap­proved the rec­om­men­da­tions, they are to be pub­lished in a pub­lic forum.

Get­ting rid of ex­cess leaves

In the wake of trop­i­cal storm Les­lie and the on­set of fall, Bay Roberts has be­gun of­fer­ing a five­day-a-week ser­vice for res­i­dents who want their grass clip­pings, leaves and tree branches shred­ded.

Cit­i­zens can drop off their or­gan­ics at the quarry on Cen­tral Street dur­ing reg­u­lar busi­ness hours from Mon­day to Fri­day un­til later this fall.

Over the win­ter, coun­cil will be­gin to look at a more per­ma­nent site and pos­si­bly open­ing the ser­vice on Satur­days.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass file photo

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