Worried about wastewater
Carbonear council wants to prepare for legislation requiring treatment of effluent
Senior officials with the Town of Carbonear are voicing concerns over new federal government regulations that will force all municipalities across Canada to have treatment facilities for all wastewater.
Deputy Mayor Ches Ash raised the issue during council’s March 19 regular meeting.
He stated that this project could cost at least $20 million — possibly as high as $30 million — and will be a very large project for Carbonear to take on.
Another concern is the looming deadline attached to this project.
Classified as a “high-risk” area by the federal government, all Newfoundland communities, including Carbonear, will be required to have filtration and treatment facilities in place by Dec. 31, 2020.
Ash stated that it was important for the town to start formulating a plan, and begin a preliminary feasibility study on the project.
It is not currently known if the cost of the water treatment facility will be shared with the federal government, or if Carbonear will have to foot the entire bill.
Coun. Ed Goff noted that the town needs to prepare for what may be a very significant investment of tax dollars.
Goff suggested it might be necessary to borrow some $4-5 million.
Mayor Sam Slade weighed in with the idea that this legislation “could cripple small towns,” referencing that Newfoundland and Labrador has many smaller communities that may not be able to afford such a facility.
He brought up these concerns at a recent round-table discussion with a former Conservative MP, but is unsure where it currently stands with the federal government. Slade estimates that between 60-70 per cent of the province’s municipalities will be affected by this change.
All of the councilors agreed that this issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Currently, several sewer outfalls f low untreated into the harbour.
Kavanagh returns as fire chief
The town of Carbonear’s fire department had its annual general meeting in February and voted for a new chief and executive, with Ed Kavanagh again receiving the support of his fellow volunteers for a second consecutive term.
“We have had a very successful four years,” Kavanagh stated when contacted last week.
Sam Slade is the mayor of the Town of Carbonear.
Kavanagh is happy to return to the position, noting that he has some unfinished business to attend to.
“We have a few projects on the go and we (the executive) would like to see them finished,” he said.
Last year the department replaced some equipment, including some old bunker gear. More is slated to be purchased later on this year.
The brigade is also encouraged about the imminent arrival of a new equipment van that was purchased by the town.
Business with BizPal
The town is looking into businesses and residents getting easier access to municipal forms and applications through BizPal.
BizPal is a website that enables individuals to access forms and licensing applications online.
It is already being used by municipalities all across Canada, including the neighbouring Town of Bay Roberts.
The director of economic development for Bay Roberts, Ron Delaney, says that businesses are really taking advantage of the website.
Delaney recognizes the detailed information readily available to those searching for it because when you put in your business venture, all the information pops up.
Carbonear town administrator Cynthia Davis believes it will be beneficial for those looking for permits and license applications, and that the town is considering getting on
Ches Ash is the deputy mayor of the Town of Carbonear.
board. Works department scoops up backhoe The town’s public works department is getting a new backhoe.
It was officially approved during the March 19 meeting. The cost of the backhoe totalled $81,812.
One of the town’s service vehicles will be retired this year as well.
A 1999 box truck has met its end, and will be replaced with just a cab and chassis. The new truck will have the box and plow from the previous truck installed on it.
The town administrator says the purchase of just the cab and chassis should keep the new vehicle within budget.
Pool looking to reduce costs
The town’s director of recreation and tourism, Rob Button, stated that the Carbonear Pool is looking for ways to reduce costs.
With approximate spending of $150,000 each year, Button said the most logical way to curtail large expenditures would be to conserve energy and work to decrease the energy costs.
One of the ways he is looking to achieve that goal is to reduce the demand, and reduce the amount of energy required each month, and the result should be lower monthly invoices.
Another matter facing the recreation facility is the decreased number of patrons to its public swims.
Button believes the decrease in traffic has been directly connected to the weather. He has seen an increase since the weather has been improving, and believes that it will continue to get busier as the weather improves.
No funding for pool program
The Swim to Survive program at the Carbonear pool has been very successful. It is a program that involves 14 schools in Conception Bay North, and teaches students basic water-related survival techniques.
This program costs approximately $12,000 to operate, and has been primarily funded through government initiatives.
There has been no funding this year, and it looks like the town will absorb the costs, but it’s likely the number of participating schools will decrease.
Eyeing the burden on seniors
Coun. Ed Goff introduced the idea of a tax payment plan for senior citizens.
It was suggested that some seniors live on a fixed income and may not find it feasible to pay their taxes in full by the deadline.
Goff recommended a payment plan for the 2014 budget that will give these residents the ability to pay off their taxes in sections without interest penalizations.
All councillors agreed that it should be researched, but nothing official has been decided. To contact Melissa, email the following:
Ed Kavanagh’s re-election as fire chief was unanimously endorsed by the Carbonear town council last week.