Drive thru concerns stirs debate
Longtime councillors say goodbye
A proposed gas station and coffee shop to be situated at a wedge shaped piece of land between Country Road and L.T. Stick Drive in Bay Roberts caused some major discussion during the town’s regular council meeting Sept. 10.
While the name of the gas station is not known at this time, it’s been confirmed the coffee shop will be a Tim Hortons.
With entrances and exits proposed for both Country Road and L.T. Stick Drive, the station would feature a drive-thru window.
Councillors debated ways to address the traffic problem that would come with such a venture. There were also discussions about the holding lane for the drive thru, which is proposed for Country Road.
“The major concern is overflow,” said Coun. Walter Yetman. “To think ahead, in times of overflow, we should put a condition to the developer that if there are any issues with overflow on Country Road we should deal with that issue with an extended shoulder or a paved shoulder.”
Yetman noted that the addition of another coffee shop in the community will help solve the longstanding traffic problems on the Conception Bay Highway with the current Tim Hortons. “It is a good plan,” he said. However, a possible overflow problem is easier handled on the CB Highway with its four lanes than on either L.T. Stick Drive or Country Road, since both are twolane streets.
Coun. Melvin Walsh suggested the possibility of adding additional lanes to either road, but it was met with resistance.
“I can see widening the shoulder, but I can’t see two new lanes,” said Yetman.
“I did have discussions with the developer and he was willing to modify his plans if necessary,” added chief administrative officer Nigel Black.
A motion was made to refer the application back to planning, which was approved.
However, on Sept. 12, the application was approved after additional meetings with the developer when he agreed to alter the location of the entrances on both sides.
Money for Bay Arena
Council approved the payment of an additional $15,000 to the Bay Arena for roof repairs, which is over-and-above the regular subsidy of $10,000 previously approved by the town.
The cost of repairing the roof is $25,000.
The Bay Arena Association board of directors wrote in a letter to the town in January that constant stress of the weather on the nuts and bolts holding the aluminum sheeting in place has caused openings around the bolts, and stress fractures have also been detected.
The association is applying for a grant that would cover the extra cost placed on the town.
Should the association be approved, the $15,000 would be paid back to the town.
However, if not approved, the funding will be deducted from what the town will give in 2014.
“They’d like to get it done now as ice season is fast approaching,” said Black.
The motion was unanimously approved.
Ron Delaney, the town’s director of economic development and tourism, delivered the last of his quarterly reports for 2013.
In the report, he made note of efforts to replace the stairs at the Three Sisters in Lower Cove. The wooden ones were lost during a storm surge earlier this year.
“The steps will be made from aluminum and will be installed directly into the rock leading to the beach,” said Delaney.
These steps will be non-slip and perforated to allow a sea surge or waves to flow through them, according to the director.
French’s Park in Coley’s Point will also be getting an upgrade.
The park will be see the construction of a performance and campfire deck on the land, as well as a telescope viewing deck and a gazebo.
“The deck can be used for many community functions including performances, weddings, campfires, yoga and fitness classes,” said Delaney.
The Sept. 10 council meeting was the last one for longtime councillors Walsh, Clarence Mercer and Gerald Greenland.
The three are retiring from municipal politics, with Greenland topping out at 20 years as a municipal leader. Mercer has spent the last eight years on council, while Walsh has spent three terms on council.
“I gave it a lot of thought and decided to give the opportunity to some others,” said Greenland. “It’s gratifying and humbling to know the citizens in Bay Roberts enough confidence in me to elect me five times.”
It was also the last council meeting for longtime town clerk Shirley Hawe.
Coun. Melvin Walsh was enjoying his last council meeting on Sept. 10.