Vic­to­ria wins gov­er­nance award

Ac­co­lade rec­og­nizes ef­forts to de­liver ser­vices, lead­er­ship

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED -

The Town of Vic­to­ria has been awarded an ex­cel­lence in gov­er­nance award, one in a se­ries of Torn­gat Mu­nic­i­pal Achieve­ment Awards handed out ear­lier this month at the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador’s an­nual con­ven­tion in Gan­der.

The gov­er­nance award rec­og­nizes a mu­nic­i­pal­ity that strives to de­liver crit­i­cal mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices and pro­vide ex­em­plary po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in an ef­fec­tive, ef­fi­cient and trans­par­ent man­ner.

Other cat­e­gories and their win­ners in­clude the fol­low­ing:

• Mu­nic­i­pal Aware­ness Award – Town of Paradise;

• Re­gional Co­op­er­a­tion Award – Town of Fla­trock;

• Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Award – Town of Lewis­porte;

• En­vi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity Award – Town of Ap­ple­ton.

These awards rec­og­nize the ex­em­plary ef­forts of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the cat­e­gories of Mu­nic­i­pal Aware­ness, In­no­va­tion in Re­gional Co­op­er­a­tion, Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, En­vi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity and Ex­cel­lence in Gov­er­nance.

Community groups her­alded

The Town of Vic­to­ria is a bed­room community of just over 1,700 peo­ple, and shares a bound­ary to the south with Car­bon­ear.

The town was noted for its fi­nan­cial man­age­ment, hav­ing re­fi­nanced its debt to a more man­age­able level. It was also em­pha­sized that 99 per cent of home are con­nected to the mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sup­ply, and 95 per cent to the sewer sys­tem.

There’s also a five-year plan in place to resur­face town roads.

“The coun­cil has been ef­fec­tive in reach­ing out to res­i­dents and in­volv­ing them in arms-length vol­un­teer groups that op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently, but an­swer to coun­cil,” MNL stated in a news re­lease. “These groups are ac­tive and main­tain a close re­la­tion­ship be­tween the coun­cil and res­i­dents.”

Mem­bers of the Tidy Towns com­mit­tee, re­cre­ation com­mit­tee, the Vic­to­ria Her­itage So­ci­ety and the fire depart­ment were sin­gled out for their ef­forts.

The re­cre­ation com­mit­tee was re­vived four years ago, and has since com­pleted a $30,000 ren­o­va­tion to the soft­ball field, added equip­ment to the play­grounds and ren­o­vated the re­cre­ation cen­tre. The com­mit­tee also runs a sum­mer camp for kids, fam­ily fun days, se­niors’ teas and chil­drens’ par­ties. It also pro­vides an adult fit­ness class and a ladies’ soft­ball league.

The her­itage so­ci­ety is de­vel­op­ing a her­itage park con­sist­ing of a barn, a forge, a gen­eral store, a salt­box house, a her­itage church and a board­walk. New ad­di­tions in­clude wash­rooms and a replica of the Vic­to­ria train sta­tion.

The fire depart­ment, mean­while, has a new pumper and plans to add an­other bay onto the fire hall.

They are work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively with neigh­bour­ing de­part­ments. Coun­cil has pro­vided all nec­es­sary equip­ment in­clud­ing a res­cue van, front­line pumper, wa­ter can­non, and bunker suits. The depart­ment was one of the first in­sured and one of the first to re­ceive a stipend for their ser­vice.

The town was also praised for re­cently ac­quir­ing the lo­cal Lion’s Club build­ing and trans­form­ing it into an ac­tive community cen­tre.

Other ser­vices in­clude a memo­rial li­brary in the town hall, space for the army cadets and an archives. The town pro­vides two play­grounds, two board­walks and land for the her­itage park and life­styles mu­seum.

On the ad­min­is­tra­tive side, the town re­cently re­vamped its town plan, in­clud­ing an In­te­grated Community Sus­tain­abil­ity Plan, and pre­pared a new Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Plan.

The town em­ploys a town clerk, an as­sis­tant town clerk, a town fore­man, a per­ma­nent out­side worker and two part-time work­ers.

Com­pass file photo

Arthur Burke is mayor of the Town of Vic­to­ria.

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