Community calendar Harbour Grace searching for court options
A public declaration last week by Justice Minister Andrew Parsons that government would not reconsider its decision to close the courthouse in Harbour Grace has its town council evaluating its options.
At the town’s regular council meeting on May 4, Harbour Grace councillors listened as Mayor Terry Barnes said he’d spoken with Parsons since the declaration and maintains the government will continue to listen to any alternatives.
Barnes and Coun. Hayward Blake previously met with the minister on April 27. Then, they were told government would look at any other options the town could provide.
“I spoke with him this afternoon … he said he’s not deviating from the promise he made councilor Blake and I,” said the mayor. “I’m not going in to further into that until we get back to him with a few proposals.”
What options are available to the town is not known, but with the court expected to close later this summer there isn’t a lot of time to figure it out.
In the meantime, Barnes encouraged every town in the region to continue writing their MHA voicing their displeasure with the decision to close the courts.
“This isn’t just an issue for us,” he said. “This is a Bay Roberts issue, this is a Carbonear issue, this is a Whitbourne issue and this is a Placentia issue.”
“It’s no good for just Harbour Grace to stand up. We need everyone to stand up.”
The courthouse was not the only body blow dealt to Harbour Grace in the latest budget. The public library on Harvey Street is also earmarked for closure as one of 56 libraries across the province getting the axe.
Standing at the tail end of the meeting, Coun. Blake suggested writing a letter to Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries and protesting the decision.
“I, for one, contacted the library board and asked for the resignation of the whole board,” he said. “We, as a council, should write a letter to the library board saying that we are totally displeased with the fact that we are losing our library and implore that they keep the library in Harbour Grace open.”
Over the past year, Harbour Grace has been active in selling itself as a place where young families can come and grow. At the heart of that push has been the library.
Blake said it gets difficult selling the town when they continually have to fight for the services they have,
“I had someone email me and say they take their kids there every week,” he said.
Stadium items cleared off agenda
There were a number of items for the new stadium taken care off at the meeting.
Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams made several motions concerning everything from operators for the planned pro shop and fitness centre, as well as setting the ice rental rates when the rink opens in the fall.
First up was the matter of who would run the pro shop. Williams moved the town accept the bid proposed by clothing and sneaker outfit Heart & Sole.
Meanwhile, Carbonear’s Eden will run the fitness centre at the new facility.
Ice rates were set at $165 an hour for minor hockey and $190 for outside rentals.
Meanwhile, a proposal for naming rights for the rink was deferred till a later meeting to give councilors additional time to discuss the matter.