Around the coun­cil ta­ble

Grand Bank coun­cil briefs

The Southern Gazette - - Editorial - BY PAUL HERRIDGE pher­ridge@south­

Grand Bank coun­cil met on Mon­day, Oct. 30.

New busi­ness

A per­mit was ap­proved for S and M De­vel­op­ment and Sales to op­er­ate a new busi­ness sell­ing cars and recre­ational ve­hi­cles.

The busi­ness will be lo­cated on the same prop­erty as Ben­nett’s Con­struc­tion at 40 Main St.

Town clerk Cathy Fol­lett said the Mu­nic­i­pal As­sess­ment Agency would as­sess the amount of space the new busi­ness is us­ing on the over­all prop­erty for tax pur­poses.

Arena ad ap­proved

Coun­cil ap­proved a mo­tion to pur­chase a dasher­board ad­ver­tise­ment at For­tune Arena.

The cost of the ad is $400, plus a $100 setup fee, for a to­tal of $500.

Town staff was tasked with de­cid­ing de­tails for the de­sign of the ad­ver­tise­ment.

Build­ing up­grades

nearly done

Re­cre­ation director and fa­cil­i­ties man­ager Tom Bur­ton said ren­o­va­tions are near­ing com­ple­tion on the 50-Plus Club.

The project on the townowned build­ing in­cludes ex­te­rior and in­te­rior ren­o­va­tions and was aided by a $25,000-grant from the New Hori­zons for Se­niors pro­gram.

Bur­ton said there was still some plumb­ing work be­ing com­pleted as of last week, as well as a few other “odds and ends. Bur­ton said he was told the build­ing should be ready in about another week.

Tax prop­er­ties auc­tioned off

The town held a tax auc­tion in late Oc­to­ber sell­ing all three prop­er­ties that were avail­able.

“The prop­er­ties that were up for sale all sold, with very min­i­mum bids, I would say,” town clerk Cathy Fol­lett said.

Deeds have al­ready been pre­pared and own­er­ship passed over, she added.

“In our fi­nance com­mit­tee re­port, we did write off the taxes, so th­ese prop­er­ties will be in­cluded in (the new own­ers’) prop­er­ties for next year,” she said.

The prop­er­ties that sold were 1 Ocean­view St., 17 Bayview Pl. and 3 Rose Pl.

Fol­lett said it was her un­der­stand­ing build­ings on all three prop­er­ties would be re­moved in “due time.”

Own­ers paid taxes on four other prop­er­ties that were ini­tially slated for the tax auc­tion.

Mayor Rex Matthews in­quired if another tax auc­tion would be re­quired in 2018.

Fol­lett said there are taxes owed on sev­eral prop­er­ties and they would be passed along to the fi­nance com­mit­tee for re­view.

Dam project de­nied fund­ing

The town’s cap­i­tal works ap­pli­ca­tion to the provin­cial gov­ern­ment to ex­tend the in­take pipe at the reser­voir was re­jected, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Rex Matthews.

In an ef­fort to re­duce the amount of silt and sed­i­ment that can get into the wa­ter sys­tem, the town is look­ing to move the pipe 30 feet away from the face of the dam and also in­stall a screen­ing sys­tem.

The project will cost ap­prox­i­mately $700,000, Matthews noted, adding the town will push for ap­proval next year.

“It’s im­por­tant for us to get this done,” he said.

Town man­ager Wayne Bolt said the project would be listed as the top pri­or­ity in its next cap­i­tal works ap­pli­ca­tion, which is due for sub­mis­sion this month.

Matthews said he wasn’t to­tally sur­prised about the re­jec­tion, given the town has re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing for cap­i­tal works projects over the last five years.

Grand Bank is con­nected to For­tune’s wa­ter sup­ply. Oc­ca­sion­ally, how­ever, the need arises to re­vert to its own sys­tem with one such in­stance hap­pen­ing in re­cent weeks.

So­cial for for­mer coun­cil­lor

A re­tire­ment so­cial is be­ing held for for­mer coun­cil­lor Bruce War­ren on Nov. 8.

War­ren de­cided not to run again in the Septem­ber mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion.

Mayor Rex Matthews sug­gested War­ren’s 35 years on the Grand Bank coun­cil must be the long­est ten­ure in the town’s his­tory.

Talk­ing health care

Mayor Rex Matthews said he has been asked to speak at an up­com­ing Eastern Health board meet­ing about the town’s re­sponse to health care is­sues in the com­mu­nity.

Matthews said he agreed to do so and also plans to ex­pand on his com­ments.

The mayor said he would dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of in­creas­ing the use of tech­nol­ogy such as video con­fer­enc­ing so res­i­dents aren’t re­quired to fre­quently travel to St. John’s for brief med­i­cal ap­point­ments.

“It’s just not fair that our peo­ple have to spend so much money and time to be back and forth to St. John’s,” Matthews said.

For­eign com­pany ex­press­ing in­ter­est

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Nor­we­gian com­pany Steinsvik were in Grand Bank for a meet­ing on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Mayor Rex Matthews said the com­pany is look­ing at set­ting up an op­er­a­tion in the town.

Stein­vik’s web­site said it de­liv­ers prod­ucts and so­lu­tions for aqua­cul­ture, ships and rigs.

It was noted rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Grand Bank De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and the Grand Bank Har­bour Author­ity would also be present for the meet­ing.

Frus­tra­tion over in­sur­ance claim

Coun­cil plans to write the town’s so­lic­i­tor to re­quest they press for a res­o­lu­tion to the in­sur­ance dis­pute over dam­ages to the mu­nic­i­pal cen­tre caused dur­ing a win­ter storm in 2014.

The dis­cov­ery process – a le­gal mech­a­nism that of­fers a chance for both sides in a dis­agree­ment to look over the other’s in­for­ma­tion and de­ter­mine how to pro­ceed – be­gan well over a year ago.

“This is drag­ging on and on and on, and it’s time to bring it to a con­clu­sion one way or another,” Mayor Rex Matthews said.

Pool work starts

Up­grades on the town’s swim­ming pool were sched­uled to start on Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to town man­ager Wayne Bolt.

The ren­o­va­tions in­clude in­stal­la­tion of a heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing (HVAC) sys­tem and new light­ing.

Bumps in the road

Deputy Mayor Clay­ton Welsh is re­new­ing his pre­vi­ous call to con­sider in­stalling speed bumps on Main Street in the area of the com­mu­nity park.

The speed bumps can be re­moved in the win­ter, he pointed out.

“I think it would make a dif­fer­ence to the (dan­ger­ous) driv­ing on Main Street,” Welsh said.

Gaug­ing wa­ter pres­sure

Town man­ager Wayne Bolt said the wa­ter-pres­sure level in Grand Bank is nearly maxed out.

Bolt said the pres­sure was in­creased an ad­di­tional two pounds per square inch, or PSI, in late July.

It may be pos­si­ble to slightly bump up the PSI again next year, he said, ex­plain­ing it wasn’t ad­vis­able to make too high an in­crease at one time for fear of caus­ing other prob­lems.

“We may be able to (make another in­crease), but I wouldn’t go much fur­ther than one more (PSI) be­cause if you do, we’re go­ing to have is­sues with hot wa­ter boil­ers and leaks in peo­ple’s houses and things like this,” he said.

The dis­cus­sion was spurred by Coun. Jack Bur­fitt, who said he had heard con­cerns while cam­paign­ing for the re­cent mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion.

Ev­ery two feet of wa­ter added to the town’s tank re­sults in a gain of one PSI, Bolt ex­plained, with the level now at 50 feet.

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