Car­bon­ear to ramp it up

Lo­cal Lion’s Club to do­nate $50,000 to­wards new skate­board park

The Compass - - OPINION - BYMELISSA JENK­INS SPE­CIAL TO THE COM­PASS

Of­fi­cials with the Town of Car­bon­ear say cur­rent lo­ca­tions in the town be­ing used by skate­board­ers are un­safe and they are rolling out a plan in part­ner­ship with the lo­cal Lion’s Club to curb the prob­lem.

Af­ter agree­ing to the part­ner­ship, the skate­board park can fi­nally get un­der­way. The club has agreed to a $50,000 do­na­tion and the lo­ca­tion has been cho­sen.

“The skate park will be at the Rec Com­plex right next to the ten­nis courts,” Recre­ation Di­rec­tor Rob But­ton said.

“We’ve been due for a skate­board park for a long time,” Mayor Sam Slade added, not­ing the sev­eral years it has been in the works.

It is de­ter­mined the town will cover the en­tire cost up­front and the $50,000 from the Lion’s Club will be paid in in­cre­ments over four years.

The idea of the new park stems from con­sis­tent com­plaints of skate­board­ing on busi­ness park­ing lots and in traf­fic, in­clud­ing the War Me­mo­rial area on Wa­ter Street, McDon­alds park­ing lot and the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Square shop­ping cen­tre.

Coun. Ray Noel said since the park is for the youth of the town, they should have a say in the de­sign.

But­ton con­firmed he is set­ting up a meet­ing with users of the fa­cil­ity to dis­cuss their wants and needs for the park.

A fi­nal dol­lar fig­ure on the pro­ject will not be avail­able un­til af­ter the meet­ing.

Lion’s Club pres­i­dent Fred Power said the $50,000 do­na­tion is one of many do­na­tions the club is in­volved in, but is one of the largest to date.

The funds come from fundrais­ing ef­forts and from the sale of their for­mer Lion’s Den on Val­ley Road in 2011.

Burn­ing rub­ber

Mean­while, Coun. David Kennedy says the prob­lem with ve­hi­cle con­ges­tion and danger­ous driv­ing has in­creased on park­ing lots and roads in the town, es­pe­cially around the TC Square mall and Wa­ter Street.

Sev­eral coun­cil­lors say the driver of an older ve­hi­cle was burn­ing out his or her tires and spin­ning dough­nuts on the rear park­ing lot of the mall June 2.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis says she was in Wal-Mart at the time, and a burnt smell over­whelmed the pho­tog­ra­phy area. She says it was so bad the worker stopped check­ing peo­ple in out of fear the fire alarm would sound.

Ac­cord­ing to wit­nesses of the in­ci­dent, the park­ing lot was packed with ve­hi­cles, and the car in ques­tion was driv­ing reck­lessly around them. There are still cir­cu­lar pat­terned black tire marks on the as­phalt.

Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP con­firm they re­ceived a call be­tween 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. about two ve­hi­cles — a Ford Mus­tang and a Dodge Dakota — do­ing dough­nuts in the park­ing lot.

Both cars were no longer on scene when the po­lice cruiser ar­rived.

RCMP con­sul­ta­tions

The en­tire town coun­cil has wit­nessed sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions to the mall in­ci­dent, and con­sis­tently re­ceive com­plaints from con­stituents about “in­con­sid­er­ate” neigh­bours and driv­ers.

Deputy Mayor Ches Ash be­lieves some res­i­dents are be­ing “bla­tantly dis­re­spect­ful,” es­pe­cially with noise by-laws.

The town says those ac­cused have been for­mally no­ti­fied of the sit­u­a­tion but con­tinue to break the rules.

Slade says Car­bon­ear has an ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship with the RCMP and al­ways con­sult with them when is­sues arise. He says they will be no­ti­fied about cur­rent is­sues.

Coun­cil­lors agree the RCMP should be con­sulted for all re­peat of­fend­ers breach­ing by-laws, and more will have to be done to pre­vent th­ese types of in­ci­dents in the fu­ture.

Road sur­plus

Lon­don Road up­grades are cur­rently in progress, but the town an­nounced a sur­plus sev­eral months ago since the ten­der came in un­der pro­jected costs.

Davis says she has been in con­tact with the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs to ap­ply for ap­proval for pro­ject ex­ten­sion with Cougar Con­tract­ing.

There are some $300,000 left over from the ini­tial $1.25-mil­lion cost and pre­vi­ous bud­gets. The town would like to use that money to com­plete Lon­don Road to the Val­ley View Heights in­ter­sec­tion.

Davis says, al­though not ap­proved, it is look­ing promis­ing but they must sup­ply all the in­for­ma­tion to the depart­ment as soon as pos­si­ble.

New on-ramp un­de­ter­mined

Ash be­lieves an on-ramp from Val­ley Road to Colum­bus Drive on the west side of the high­way will be needed for the safety of mo­torists when Car­bon­ear Acad­emy, the town’s new K-8 school, opens in Septem­ber.

“Ve­hi­cles cur­rently have to cross the on­com­ing traf­fic to get back on Colum­bus Drive,” Ash ex­plains. “A ramp would avoid that and be safer for buses and other ve­hi­cles leav­ing the area.”

Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Works Brian O’Grady was in con­tact with the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Works, but sug­gests the is­sue is cur­rently at a stale­mate.

“There has not been any move­ment in a long time,” O’Grady says.

The depart­ment had pre­vi­ously made calls to the town for in­for­ma­tion that could help de­ter­mine the vi­a­bil­ity of a ramp, but of­fi­cials say they have not been no­ti­fied if any head­way has been made.

Trans­porta­tion and works of­fi­cials say the “depart­ment is eval­u­at­ing the re­quest for a ramp and de­vel­op­ing cost pro­jec­tions and should be ready to present to the town soon.”

For­ward re­lents post to Noel

Coun. Betty For­ward has been the chair of the recre­ation com­mit­tee since her stint on coun­cil be­gan, but has de­cided to step down.

Slade says Coun. Noel will take over as chair un­til at least the next elec­tion.

For­ward has al­ready an­nounced she will not seek re-elec­tion in Septem­ber, but Noel, who won a by-elec­tion last March, says he is ready to throw his hat in the ring for a po­ten­tial first full term on coun­cil.

melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins

The Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Square rear park­ing lot clos­est to Shop­pers Drug Mart in Car­bon­ear has been a pop­u­lar hangout for teenagers in re­cent years. Is­sues with ve­hi­cles driv­ing dough­nuts and burn­ing their tires in the town has been in­creas­ing in re­cent months, which is ev­i­dent from tire and skid marks all over that park­ing lot.

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