Targa causes trou­ble for Leth­bridge lo­cal ser­vice dis­trict

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL - BY MARK SQUIBB THE PACKET

Targa New­found­land 2017 has be­gun.

The high-speed races and stylish cars draw plenty of ex­cite­ment.

But the Leth­bridge lo­cal ser­vice dis­trict is not ex­cited for Targa.

The Leth­bridge road was sched­uled to close from ap­prox­i­mately 8:30 a.m. un­til 10:25 a.m. on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 13, to al­low for Targa races, while the Brook­lyn road was sched­uled to close from ap­prox­i­mately 8:45 to 10:40 a.m.

Clo­sures that the LSD do not wel­come.

“The Leth­bridge and Area Lo­cal Ser­vice Dis­trict does not con­done th­ese events and re­ceived nu­mer­ous com­plaints from res­i­dents of the area last year. How­ever, we do not have the author­ity to act on any­thing on this main road through our com­mu­ni­ties as it is a Crown Con­trolled Road,” read a pub­lic no­tice re­leased by the Leth­bridge and Area LSD.

“Last year some res­i­dents lost work time, missed med­i­cal ap­point­ments, de­layed travel plans, and in many cases they had not been in­formed that the roads in Brook­lyn and Leth­bridge were closed,” ex­plained Kay Young, chair­woman of the LSD.

“Some res­i­dents went out to their ve­hi­cles and were de­nied ac­cess to the road. There is also the el­e­ment of dan­ger!” she told The Packet

Young also claimed that the LSD was not in­formed by Targa that the roads would be closed, and that they only found out through the so­cial me­dia grapevine.

She says that the lo­cal fire depart­ment and schools re­ceived word of the road clo­sure, though the LSD did not.

“They didn’t even call us to ad­vise they were com­ing again this year,” said Young.

Targa, how­ever, said they “en­sured that ev­ery house in the dis­trict of Leth­bridge re­ceived a let­ter re­gard­ing the Targa event and road clo­sure this year.”

Young said she has not re­ceived or seen such a let­ter.

“We com­mu­ni­cated with Targa last year and re­quested that they change their hours for Brook­lyn and Leth­bridge or leave th­ese com­mu­ni­ties off their itin­er­ary this year,” read a Face­book post from the Leth­bridge & Area Lo­cal Ser­vice Dis­trict.

“Ob­vi­ously it fell on deaf ears or they de­lib­er­ately ig­nored us, as we are a LSD and not a coun­cil. We were not in­formed this year but learned through an­other source,” the post con­tin­ued.

In re­sponse to pre­vi­ously raised con­cerns, Targa said it had changed the tim­ing of the clo­sure from 8:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. to ac­com­mo­date stu­dent trans­porta­tion.

Targa also claims that though they were un­able to reach the chair of the LSD, they were able to speak with “other mem­bers of the LSD and the com­mu­nity.”

“Targa makes ev­ery ef­fort to in­form, en­gage and in­volve all mem­bers of each and ev­ery one of the 60 odd com­mu­ni­ties that Targa runs through well ahead of the event, so we are, of course, con­cerned by this news,” the re­sponse from Targa stated.

Targa also said that safety is their top pri­or­ity, which is why the roads will be closed for just un­der two hours.

The pub­lic no­tice gives con­tact in­for­ma­tion for Targa New­found­land and the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Works, and en­cour­ages res­i­dents to call if they de­sire to ex­press their dis­plea­sure.

The pub­lic no­tice also tells read­ers to “feel free to con­tact the RCMP di­rectly” if there is de­bris/lit­ter left around the com­mu­nity af­ter the event.

JONATHAN PAR­SONS PHOTO

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