The Lewisporte Town Council has identified some priority areas.
The Town Council in Lewisporte has approved a strategic plan that maps out priorities over the next four years, only weeks before the scheduled municipal election.
The plan provides a general outline of five objectives the town is hoping to accomplish in the coming years. The document is light on details, but is clear in establishing the Town’s priorities.
The document opens with a message from current Mayor Brian Sceviour. In it he explains council recognizes the importance of establishing future priorities, and says they have a clear understanding of the town’s goals. The document does not cement a path for the incoming council, but rather is a set of suggestions, says Sceviour.
“It is a bit close to a new council coming in, but when we did it in the first place, the intent was to have some information available,” Sceviour told the Pilot. “We’re not binding anybody to anything.”
Healthcare services is strategic initiative number one according to the document. The goal of council is to develop a strategy to convince the prov- incial government to maintain emergency services, 24/7 laboratory and x-ray services. The Town intends to establish a committee to map out a health improvement service strategy. In theory the group would meet with members of the medical community to determine what medical services should be a priority.
Strategic initiative number two is roads, sidewalks, as well as water and sewer services in the town. The strategic plan indicates the Town hopes to improve infrastructure in all aspects, with particular emphasis on Lewisporte’s Main Street and the installation of fire hydrants of the south side.
A wastewater treatment facility is next on the list. Changes in federal legislation in 2012 have made this item a priority across the country and the new Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations are now in force. The regulations firmly establish the country’s first national standards for wastewater treatment. The new rules are established under the Fisheries Act and include a mandatory minimum effluent quality standard for Canadian cities and towns.
The privatization of Woolfrey’s Pond Park and Campground, Die Trac Technical Institute and the Lewisporte Marina are all listed as council priorities head into the next four year.
“Strategic Issue Number Four” says the town will examine the potential of privatizing the assets and determine whether “it is in the Town’s short and long-term interests to continue operating such facilities, or sell them to private entrepreneurs.”
The Town recently faced backlash from some residents after privatization was suggested in council as previously reported in the Pilot. The adoption of the plan means the privatization examination will continue to move forward under the new council.
The final initiative listed in the document is to examine the benefits of a second access and exit to Lewisporte. The goal is to develop a business case on the benefits of an alternative access route. A secondary access route has been a priority for council for decades says Sceviour. With flooding last October cutting off a priority of the town and the consolidation of the Main Street sewers a priority over the next four years, a secondary route may be required.
“I think it’s a combination of factors there,” said Sceviour. “The fact that we do have certain areas of town, where if something happens, you just can’t get by and there is no alternative.”
The Pilot will provide updates as more information becomes available.
The Town of Lewisporte approved a four-year strategic plan at the last regular meeting of council, and with less than a month to go before this year’s municipal election.