Budget needs laid out at public meeting
Library funding, water drainage, sidewalks brought up in Bay Roberts
Public library funding and flooding were the main topics brought up at a sparsely attended public meeting in Bay Roberts last week.
The Town of Bay Roberts scheduled the meeting to get feedback from residents on what they would like to see in its 2015 budget. Five people showed up for the meeting, held last Tuesday in council chambers.
Neddal Ayad made a request on behalf of the Bay Roberts Library Board, asking the town to consider offering a small annual grant to help the library offset potential funding cuts.
Prior to the public meeting, Ayad took part in a conference call with the provincial library board. He was told hours would be reduced to help manage costs within the provincial library system.
“Apparently closing libraries is on the table. They’re not ruling anything out,” said Ayad, chair of the local library board. He later added that the Bay Roberts library is one of the busiest in the province outside the St. John’s metro area.
A grant ranging from $500-$1,000 could help the library with new book purchases and information technology support for public access computers, said Ayad.
Paul Eastman, a resident of Bishops Road, told town staff and council members that something needs to be done to fix drainage issues related to new development in the area.
He said development happening upstream from his home is creating problems downstream in a bog behind his house that’s taking on more water than it traditionally has. This creates flooding concerns for local residents, a point confirmed by another man at the meeting who lives on the same road.
Eastman said the problem could be fixed if the town finds funds in its next budget to create a ditch or trench to help water flow away from the bog and link to a catch basin before flowing into the ocean. He suggested work to revamp culverts might also prove necessary.
“I wouldn’t think it would be an expensive fix,” he added, noting the town would already own the equipment necessary to do the work.
“It would give a lot of residents on Bishops Road peace of mind, because right now it’s hellish. You don’t know where you stand every time there’s a storm coming.”
A resident of Country Road said his neighbourhood could use some sidewalks. He said it is hard to walk on the narrow road given ditches exist on both sides.
The town will release its 2015 budget at a Dec. 9 council meeting.