Do you know your garbage eti­quette? BY PAUL HERRIDGE

The Southern Gazette - - MUNICIPAL -

Grand Bank Ci­ti­zens will face fines for putting refuse at the curb too early

Grand Bank town coun­cil met Tues­day, May 23. The fol­low­ing are highlights from that meet­ing.

Curb­side waste pol­icy

Coun­cil has adopted a pol­icy re­gard­ing garbage and bulk items placed curb­side too early.

Garbage placed at the curb prior to the day of reg­u­lar col­lec­tion and bulk items put out the day be­fore bulk item col­lec­tion is a vi­o­la­tion of the town’s waste reg­u­la­tions.

Refuse should be placed at the curb only on the day sched­uled for col­lec­tion.

Res­i­dents who fail to fol­low this rule will be billed a min­i­mum of $100, in ac­cor­dance with the town’s pol­icy.

Other fac­tors that could in­crease the bill to prop­erty own­ers in­clude em­ployee time, use of town ve­hi­cles, travel to the waste dis­posal site at Jean de Baie and any waste dis­posal fees charged.

“It’s just a sim­ple, straight­for­ward, no-non­sense pol­icy that we got in place,” said Mayor Rex Matthews.

The mayor said the town has been get­ting numer­ous calls about garbage and bulk items sit­ting curb­side for pro­longed pe­ri­ods of time and town man­ager Wayne Bolt needed di­rec­tion from coun­cil on how to pro­ceed.

“Once we do a few (fines) the mes­sage will get out around town, and the first time we got to take it to Jean de Baie some­body is go­ing to get a big bill,” said Matthews.

The pol­icy also states prop­erty own­ers have 30 days to pay charges or wa­ter ser­vices will be shut off.

Pay­roll changes

The fi­nance com­mit­tee will con­sult with the town’s union­ized em­ploy­ees about switch­ing to di­rect de­posit for pay­roll and bi­weekly pay­ments in­stead of weekly.

Fi­nance chair­man Coun. Stan Burt said the topic was dis­cussed at a re­cent com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Coun. Clay­ton Welsh said the town prides it­self on be­ing proactive and mod­ern and sug­gested pay­ing staff with weekly cheques is out­dated.

“I think if it’s pre­sented the right way, peo­ple will see the ben­e­fits of it,” Burt said.

The change would save on print­ing cheques and the has­sle of sign­ing them, he added.

Tax col­lec­tion

Fi­nance com­mit­tee chair­man Coun. Stan Burt said tax col­lec­tion to date for 2017 is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than this time last year.

So far, 52.72 per cent of taxes have been paid, he said.

Burt said it shows res­i­dents are pay­ing at­ten­tion to mak­ing sure their tax debts are in or­der.

Down­town re­de­vel­op­ment

Four mo­tions were adopted re­gard­ing the town’s down­town re­de­vel­op­ment project.

The fi­nal re­port on the project, com­pleted in March, was ap­proved.

Any com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in the project must com­ply with the con­cepts of the plan and only her­itage style cladding and windows will be per­mit­ted.

The town will pro­ceed with se­cur­ing fund­ing for ar­eas E, D and A of the down­town/wa­ter­front area.

As well, a con­cept de­sign will be put for­ward to fund­ing agen­cies this fall for the Samuel J. Har­ris Build­ing.

Elec­tion dates

Sev­eral im­por­tant dates were ap­proved for the up­com­ing mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion on Sept. 26.

Nom­i­na­tion day for can­di­dates is Sept. 5 and an ad­vanced poll will be held Sept. 19.

Can­di­dates con­sid­er­ing run­ning in the elec­tion should also be aware they can­not owe any taxes to the town as of nom­i­na­tion day, in­clud­ing the cur­rent year.

Messy busi­ness prop­er­ties

The is­sue of un­kempt busi­ness prop­er­ties will be on the agenda for the next plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee meet­ing.

Coun. Stan Burt, who has raised the sub­ject in the past, said some of the busi­nesses in the town are in an “aw­ful mess.”

Burt said busi­nesses should be held to the same stan­dard coun­cil re­quires of res­i­dents to keep their prop­erty clean.

“That’s a valid com­ment,” Mayor Rex Matthews said in re­sponse.

Still no de­par­ture date

There’s still no de­fin­i­tive date for the de­par­ture of the Yah­weh, the ves­sel for­merly called the At­lantic Pur­suit, from Grand Bank har­bour.

The ship, which was knocked out of com­mis­sion by a rogue wave in 2009, was re­cently ac­quired by a com­pany look­ing to re­lo­cate it to Hon­duras.

Mayor Rex Matthews said he and Coun. Bruce War­ren stopped by to have a chat with crewmem­bers from the South Amer­i­can coun­try. They have been in town work­ing on the ves­sel for the past three months.

The mayor said a new radar still needs to be in­stalled on the ship.

“There’s still no clear, de­fined plan for when that boat will be re­moved,” he said.

The crewmem­bers sug­gested mid-June as a tar­get date to leave, Matthews said, adding he didn’t have too much faith it would hap­pen by then.

“As long as they’re still here, as long as they’re in­vest­ing money into the ves­sel to get her ready, I guess that’s got to be a pos­i­tive,” he said.

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