Carbonear to ramp it up
Local Lion’s Club to donate $50,000 towards new skateboard park
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.