Victoria wins governance award
Accolade recognizes efforts to deliver services, leadership
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.
Arthur Burke is mayor of the Town of Victoria.