Prov­ince gives Bay Roberts OK on road projects

Fu­ture meet­ings to dis­cuss trans­fer of con­trol for Route 70 Health cited as fac­tor in de­ci­sion to leave coun­cil

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

The Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion and Works ap­pears to be agree­able to act­ing on a num­ber of items the Town of Bay Roberts brought to his at­ten­tion at a meet­ing in early March.

In a let­ter sent to the town late last month, David Brazil di­rectly ad­dresses four items the town is hop­ing to get pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment co-op­er­a­tion on. One of those in­volves trans­fer­ring ad­min­is­tra­tion and con­trol of L.T. Stick Drive and a six-kilo- me­tre stretch of Route 70 to the town.

On that mat­ter, it ap­pears there’s more work to be done. Brazil sug­gested in his let­ter, which was tabled at the April 7 coun­cil meet­ing, that the town’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer meet with his as­sis­tant deputy min­is­ter, Gary Gosse, to start for­mal dis­cus­sions on trans­fer­ring those re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

The town pre­vi­ously in­di­cated its in­ter­est in L.T. Stick Drive and Route 70 re­volves around main­te­nance is­sues, par­tic­u­larly with re­spect to snow clear­ing and line paint­ing.

Side­walks for the right-ofway on Route 70 ap­pear to be a likely ad­di­tion, as the min­is­ter con­firmed in his let­ter the depart­ment is OK with let­ting the town use a por­tion of the high­way right-of-way for work as­so­ci­ated with that project. He cau­tioned that main­te­nance of the side­walks and any other added fea­tures will be the town’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

On pro­posed beau­ti­fi­ca­tion plans the Route 70 and L.T. Stick Drive in­ter­sec­tion, the min­is­ter said his depart­ment has no prob­lem with the town mov­ing for­ward on that work.

The Town of Spa­niard’s Bay an­nounced last week the res­ig­na­tion of long-time coun­cil mem­ber and cur­rent mayor Wayne Smith.

Ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease, Smith’s health fac­tored into his de­ci­sion to quit coun­cil.

Smith was first elected as a coun­cil­lor in the 2009 gen­eral elec­tion and was the town’s clerk and manager for 24 years be­fore he re­tired from that job in 2001. He ran for mayor in 2013 and won a tight race against for­mer coun­cil­lor Brenda Sey­mour, win­ning by only nine votes.

“Coun­cil thanks Mayor Smith for his con­tri­bu­tion and lead­er­ship of the Town and wishes him ev­ery suc­cess in his fu­ture en­deav­ours,” the town said in the news re­lease.

Cur­rent coun­cil mem­bers will now have to de­cide how to pro­ceed fol­low­ing Smith’s de­par­ture. They could de­cide to let Deputy Mayor Paul Brazil as­sume the mayor’s role for the re­main­der of the cur­rent term or un­til a by­elec­tion is held for a He said any shrubs, signs or other struc­tures must not in­ter­fere with sight­lines or the op­er­a­tion of the in­ter­sec­tion.

The depart­ment al­ready made a ver­bal com­mit­ment to let the town pro­ceed with a re­quest for pro­pos­als for a traf­fic study. Funds com­mit­ted by the depart­ment to the town sev­eral years ago to in­stall traf­fic sig­nals where Beaver Plaza meets Route 70 can be used to fund the study. The min­is­ter re­con­firmed that com­mit­ment in his let­ter to the town.

“I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing the co­op­er­a­tive re­la­tion­ship be- new mayor. Coun­cil­lors could also vote for a new mayor by se­cret bal­lot to com­plete the cur­rent term, which lasts un­til the fall of 2017. tween the Depart­ment and Trans­porta­tion of Works and the Town of Bay Roberts,” Brazil added at the end of his let­ter.

Mayor Philip Wood said he was pleased with the min­is­ter’s re­sponse.

“I’ve got to say, I’m im­pressed that we re­ceived a let­ter. We’ve met with a lot of min­is­ters over the past num­ber of years, and I’ve never had a fol­low-up let­ter writ­ten back to me. Some­times you’re won­der­ing whether you’re go­ing to have any im­pact.”

The next coun­cil meet­ing in Spa­niard’s Bay is sched­uled for April 27.

COMPASS FILE PHOTO

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