Bay Roberts amends travel pol­icy

Town en­ters into MOU with RCMP

The Compass - - OPINION - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The Town of Bay Roberts is mak­ing changes to its travel pol­icy.

At the town’s Jan. 14 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing, of­fi­cials were pre­sented with a mo­tion by chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Nigel Black that would see al­ter­ations made to the pol­icy for the first time since 2006.

In the mo­tion, Black said the is­sue of coun­cil and staff travel was dis­cussed dur­ing 2014 bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions.

“An anal­y­sis was done of sev­eral other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and gov­ern­ment bod­ies to de­ter­mine if our rates re­quired some ad­just­ment,” he said. “It is cer­tain that some in­fla­tion has oc­curred since 2006 and this is most no­tice­able in the cost of fuel.”

The 2014 bud­get saw the al­lot­ment for staff travel re­duced to $7,000 from $7,500,while the bud­get for coun­cil travel has gone from $10,000 in 2013 to $7,500 this year.

“Th­ese bud­gets will ul­ti­mately de­cide how much travel is done,” said Black.

For the past num­ber of years, Bay Roberts has been work­ing with two rates — in-prov­ince and out of prov­ince — when it came to travel.

Th­ese amend­ments would do away with the in-prov­ince rate, with all ex­penses fall­ing un­der the out-of-prov­ince rates.

This sees a shift in meal al­lowances. They are as fol­lows: • break­fast goes from $8 to $10; • lunch goes from $12 to $14; • din­ner goes from $20 to $26; • in­ci­den­tals goes from $5 to $10. “It may have been at one time, but I don’t think the cost of a meal is any dif­fer­ent in St. John’s than it is in Mon­treal,” said Black.

Th­ese changes were made in ac­cor­dance with what sim­i­lar- sized towns, such as Clarenville, have been do­ing.

Coun­cil also ap­proved the in­crease of the per-kilo­me­tre rate from 39.1 cents to 45 cents.

En­force­ment of­fi­cer changes

The town ap­proved the sign­ing of a new mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU) with the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP con­cern­ing the mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer (MEO) po­si­tion.

“We have met as a group and we have had the RCMP en­ter into another MOU and this is ef­fec­tive as of Jan. 1 of this year and will last for a two-year term,” said Coun. Ge­orge Sim­mons, who serves as the li­ai­son with mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment.

This gives Perry Bow­er­ing, the town’s MEO, the op­por­tu­nity to make use of data and com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices through the RCMP, as well as work with lo­cal mem­bers at a “greater level,” noted Sim­mons, and vice-versa.

“It also gives him the op­por­tu­nity to avail of any train­ing cour­ses that may be avail­able to him,” he said. “It’s re­ally a frame­work of how we go about our busi­ness.”

In the MOU, obli­ga­tions for the RCMP and for the town have been laid out. Some obli­ga­tions for the RCMP in­clude: • the RCMP will ar­range ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing, sub­ject to avail­abil­ity, for the MEO at the RCMP Train­ing Depot in Regina, Sask. with the costs be­ing ab­sorbed by the town;

• the RCMP will en­sure the MEO car­ries out his au­thor­ity, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and du­ties in a proper man­ner;

• the RCMP will com­plete a per­for­mance re­view for the MEO and will be for­warded to the town by April 30 of each year.

While some of the town’s obli­ga­tions in­clude:

• the town is re­spon­si­ble for the costs of the salary, ben­e­fits, uni­forms and equip­ment for MEO, which would also in­clude costs such as over­time, if nec­es­sary, and travel out­side town when re­quired;

• the town will pro­vide the MEO with the ap­pro­pri­ate ve­hi­cle and will be re­spon­si­ble for all as­so­ci­ated costs.

Speed­ing in Bay Roberts was a hot but­ton topic lead­ing into the elec­tion, and re­mains a mat­ter of dis­cus­sion amongst many res­i­dents.

As per the MOU, Bow­er­ing would not be per­mit­ted to par­tic­i­pate in any mov­ing traf­fic en­force­ment un­less un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the RCMP, but is able to give tick­ets for park­ing vi­o­la­tions, snow­clear­ing reg­u­la­tions, etc.

Cat con­cerns

The coun­cil ap­proved the com­mer­cial oc­cu­pancy ap­pli­ca­tion for the Bac­calieu Trail SPCA to as­sume con­trol of Cat Con­cerns thrift store on Bare­need Road.

The store is lo­cated in the for­mer Mom’s Restau­rant build­ing across from the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP Bay Roberts of­fice.

Coun. Char­lene Dawe-Roach ques­tioned whether the SPCA had in­ten­tions of open­ing an an­i­mal shel­ter, as the word­ing in the re­quest was not clear.

She was as­sured the ap­pli­ca­tion was to take over op­er­a­tions of the thrift store cur­rently op­er­at­ing in the com­mu­nity.

The thrift store is be­ing used as a fundraiser for the even­tual con­struc­tion of a an­i­mal shel­ter in the area.

The re­quest for ap­proval comes af­ter the town paid out a sub­stan­tial amount of money to the Bac­calieu Trail An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal in De­cem­ber 2013 for an­i­mal con­trol.

“That’s why I think we have to sup­port the SPCA in whichever way,” said Wood.

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