Councillor at large: St. Anthony
Highlights from the May 22 council meeting
The St. Anthony Town Council held a meeting Tuesday, May 22 to discuss a variety of concerns and updates from various projects and committees.
The meeting was attended by Mayor Desmond McDonald, Deputy Mayor Krista Lynn Howell, Councillors Mark Pilgrim, Bruce Payne, Eric Boyd, Brad Johannessen and Darl Scott, and town manager Curtis Richards.
A hot topic of discussion was the new “hubbing” policy put in place for RCMP detachments across the Great Northern Peninsula. All councillors were disappointed in the announcement, and are hopeful that they can organize efforts to affect change.
For this area, the new policy means that officers working on call after hours will be covering the entire RoddicktonBide Arm to St. Anthony area. The officer will rotate on an alternating basis from St. Anthony to the Roddickton detachment.
“How can these officers travel 130 kilometers, in the middle of winter, dark at night, roads unplowed, and cover such a vast distance? It’s crazy,” McDonald said.
The Mayor stated this change was made due to cutbacks and costs. Boyd spoke that the welfare of the community ought to have more importance than money; all councillors agreed.
“The police force is a crucial part of the protection of society,” said Payne. “If there’s no one here who can respond to a situation, and it’s a matter of time you have to wait – we have no police force is what we’re saying, we don’t have that protection.”
Council passed a motion to write a letter stating their concerns to Justice and Public Safety Minister Andrew Parsons, and to schedule a meeting with RCMP Staff Sergeant David Cook.
Upcoming health forum Howell highlighted the recent praise the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital has received, with two physicians winning awards and the accolades made by people from outside of St. Anthony with the treatment they received at the hospital.
“I would like to remind the public that these specialty services are vital to our hospital, and in the upcoming health forum to please draw all your attention to that to get your voice heard and advocate for these services,” the Deputy Mayor said. “We don’t want to lose any of them.”
Council also discussed the need to organize a meeting with Health and Community Services Minister John Haggie when he arrived in St. Anthony on May 25. The health forum is scheduled to take place in September and will include a survey released to the public beforehand sometime in the summer.
Committee updates Following a Fire Department Committee meeting on May 16, council carried a motion to contract the repair of the fire department’s garage doors to Budgell’s Construction at a cost of $15,525.
As well, a motion was carried to apply for funds to carry out the repairs to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment.
A motion was also carried to repair two breathing apparatuses at an estimated cost of $2,000.
A motion was carried to send two firefighters to new training courses offered in Grand Falls-Windsor. Those two firefighters would then bring the training back to the other members of the St. Anthony Fire Department.
Following a Public Works Committee meeting held on May 17, council carried a motion to obtain three quotes on guardrail repairs to several areas in town and to replace a culvert on Gully Bank Rd.
Council carried a motion that the town will cooperate with the Grenfell Historical Society to install a new water line to Grenfell House at no additional cost to the town.
Council denied a request from a damaged property on Sully’s Road that asked the town to claim repairs. The claim was denied as it was determined town staff did not cause the damage.
Council approved a Crown Land acquisition on American Dr., made by Maurice’s Service Centre.
• McDonald discussed the recent meeting in regards to the blasting of harbour rock underway across St. Anthony’s harbour. McDonald said the project’s engineer informed him that the work should be completed in two and a half months.
• A motion was carried to continue to work with the Northern Peninsula Joint Council to push for a northern reduction allowance for the area.
• The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is offering a grant totalling in $125,000 for municipalities to focus on combatting climate change. Council felt this was a great initiative to bring to the next Joint Council meeting, scheduled for May 26.