Several issues take precedent at council meeting
Victoria councillors give focus to issues of recreation, public works
The atmosphere was lively, energetic and at times tense during the regular council meeting Jan. 27 at the town hall in Victoria.
Councillors were quick to give opinions, and had no problem stating their concerns when an issue was presented.
Several big situations were discussed during the marathon, three-hour meeting.
Recreation committee co-chair Coun. Jennifer Baker appeared visibly frustrated while delivering an address from her committee.
Last year the town announced intentions to build a new skateboard park. The committee — chaired by Victoria resident Holly Parsons — went to work fundraising, seeking donations and grants, as well as using $4,000 from the annual budget to afford some $40,000 worth of skateboarding equipment.
Baker explained the equipment was ordered in October, but an invoice did not arrive to the town of fice until January, although dated for December 2013. Town regulations prevent funds from each budget be reallocated to the following year.
Baker could not fathom why the money, which was approved in 2013, couldn’t pay the invoice.
“I’m disappointed,” she said. “This is money that was promised to the committee.
“Recreation, heritage, every committee are not doing things for themselves, they are doing it for the betterment of the community.”
She continued, saying there are members ready to give up the committee — which is entirely volunteer — because of the issue.
This year the town allotted an extra $4,000 to the recreation committee, but that was a standard increase the department was to receive.
“I voted on the budget because the money was there,” Baker stated. “Not because the money from last year was included.”
Deputy Mayor Sharon Snooks, who chairs the finance committee and is the former town clerk, said she believes it is worth a second look.
Council agreed, and the decision was placed in the hands of the finance committee.
At one point Mayor Barry Dooley opened the floor to residents, which consisted of three locals, to voice their questions and concerns.
Local business owners Mel and Kate Clarke, who run Clarke’s Salvage on Swansea Road —a road without street signage — were the only ones to address council.
NLL Recycling from St. John’s is said to have delivered a metal recycling bin for metals on request from the Clarke’s. It was placed next to the main road on Route 70. The company did not respond to requests for an interview.
The Clarke’s received a letter from the town.
“The Town of Victoria sent us a letter stat- ing that we had to remove the container because we were advertising our business...,” she told The Compass. “They are saying that because our business is in Swansea (Road), we cannot have this convenient drop-off for citizens.”
She explained the container does not have any reference to Clarke’s Salvage, thus is not advertising.
Dooley stated it was against the town’s regulations to have the container without a permit — which costs $25.
The couple believes they have helped get waste off the street, something they said wasn’t happening at that time.
“When Mel and I see the filth and debris, thrown by roadsides and what many others have stockpiled on their property, we are
“I’m disappointed. This is money that was promised to the committee.” — Jennifer Baker
stymied that the council could be against a clean, safe and accessible place for metals,” Kate explained.
Dooley said residents have complained, stating oil and hazardous materials as one of the reasons.
“This container is a sealed steel container,” Kate said. “If citizens put (car parts or certain metals) by a garbage bin or heaven forbid, throw it in the woods, then there will be a contamination problem. We were only trying to stop dumping, not (have) advertising.”
Coun. Glenn Clarke said it should be NLL, and not Clarke’s Salvage, who should be held responsible.
“We feel we are being penalized for being a taxpaying business,” Kate concluded. “We truly were only trying to offer a service to the town.”
Truck won’t be auctioned yet
A Victoria resident who had his 2006 Ford pickup truck impounded over a year ago will have to wait a little longer to learn the fate of his vehicle.
The council discussed what should happen with the vehicle, but Butt said she was still waiting on more information, including what other municipalities do in similar situations.
Town clerk Shelley Butt also confirmed a few weeks ago that an auction was being considered to cover towing and impounding fees.
This is the first time the municipality has faced the situation, so council decided to seek advice from an auctioneering company about protocol, including transferring ownership.
The vehicle’s owner, Ed Cole, still sternly states his vehicle was “unlawfully” removed and concealed. It is still sitting in the work yard behind the municipal building.
Jennifer Baker is the co-chair of the Victoria recreation committee. She had no trouble stating her frustration over a skatepark issue at the meeting.
Mayor of Victoria, Barry Dooley, meets with council on Jan. 27 at the town hall.