Spaniard’s Bay hiring MEO
Town hiring a municipal enforcement officer
Following in the footsteps of nearby communities like Bay Roberts, Carbonear and Placentia, the Town of Spaniard’s Bay has plans to hire a municipal enforcement officer on a trial basis. Town officials believe the time is right to hire an MEO.
Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Tony Menchions believes his town is ready to have its own municipal enforcement officer (MEO).
With plenty of development - residential and commercial - currently going on in the Conception Bay North community, the mayor is sure the time is now for the town to have someone checking in on errant permits and stopwork orders.
“We’re getting down to the nitty gritty now,” said Menchions. “It has come to the point where we’ve got to go that route.”
He pointed to the burgeoning Veteran’s Power Centre being pieced together by Karwood between Spaniard’s Bay and Tilton, as well as an increase in housing development as reasons behind the desire to add the position to the town’s stable of employees.
The idea behind hiring a municipal enforcement officer for Spaniard’s Bay is not a new one. Menchions joined the council in 2005 and he said the issue was on the table then.
However, it kept getting pushed back. Every couple of years, it would resurface and get discussed around the table.
“(Council of the day) left it alone and it was brought up numerous times after,” said Menchions.
The issue again came to the forefront last month when the town designated a committee of its councillors to look into the benefits as well as other factors such as cost. Spaniard’s Bay would look at employing an officer on a trial basis.
“When everything kicks into gear on the hill, you’re going to need somebody to make sure the buildings and everything is being done to the correct specifications,” said Menchions.
Bay Roberts, Placentia and Carbonear have employed fulltime enforcement officers for several years.
“We’re not sure on the cost of hiring the officer,” said Menchions. “We’re still feelting that part out.
“It is going to be a good service for the town. It’ll help keep track of everything.”
The mayor believes the hiring of a MEO will help ease the burden being felt by other town employees as they deal with duties normally associated with that position.
“A lot of the times, they’re taken away from their duties,” said Menchions.
The role of a municipal enforcement officer in the town will vary. They’d be required to monitor security areas, patrol the town, handle the delivery of registered letters and compliance orders, conduct site inspections and direct traffic when necessary.
The officer would also need to maintain first-aid and work with the RCMP when needed, amongst a host of other duties.
“They’ll be more than a development officer,” said Menchions. “I can see legislation down the road to enforce fines and give tickets.”
Regionalization is all of the talk at the municipal level these days. There are plenty of towns looking to share certain services as a way to cut back on the bottom line.
Right now, Spaniard’s Bay isn’t looking at sharing the cost of an MEO. They’ll take the position on for a year and then re-evaluate. Menchions said they haven’t ruled out offering to share the position with neighbouring towns.
“I can see other towns coming on board and helping out with the cost,” said Menchions. “We’re not closing any doors on co-operation.”
Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Tony Menchions