Councillor at large: St. Anthony
Highlights from Dec. 18 town council meeting
The St. Anthony Town Council held a public meeting Tuesday, Dec. 18, 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 and Eric Boyd, town manager Curtis Richards and accounts receivable clerk Karen Hillier. Coun. Bruce Payne joined as the meeting was underway. Councillors Brad Johannessen and Darl Scott sent their regrets.
The Northern Pen was present to record the meeting’s highlights.
Date set for health forum
The Town of St. Anthony has confirmed Jan. 22 as the date for a health forum. The health forum will be a partnership between the Town of St. Anthony and Labrador-Grenfell Health (LGH). The forum will be held in St. Anthony. Mayor Desmond McDonald says it won’t be a large event open to the public. The town and LGH are inviting stakeholders from different groups. It is to be determined how they will involve members of the general public.
“We will sit down, have a conversation, look at some issues and see how we can work together for better outcomes and see where we can go from there,” McDonald said.
New managerial position at hospital McDonald informed council that he had met with LGH CEO Heather Brown and had received confirmation there will be a new managerial position at Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital.
The health authority has hired a regional director of patient safety & quality/senior director of operations for the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital and John M. Gray Centre. This new role consolidates two previous positions. McDonald also said there will be no reduction in management staff at the hospital.
Crémaillère Harbour Marine Port Development support Council is encouraging the public to voice their support for the Crémaillère Harbour Marine Port Development project, as proposed by Great Northern Port.
The proponent submitted an environmental preview report and the document is available to read on the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment’s website. The department is welcoming public comments on the project and council wants people to show their support.
“Send emails or letters to your MHA and the minister of municipal affairs and environment,” said McDonald.
The minister’s decision on the EPR is due by Jan. 19, 2019.
$300,000 loan for senior housing development
The town council passed a motion to loan a final payment of $300,000 for the senior housing project to the St. Anthony Non-Profit Seniors Housing Complex committee.
The loan was made under the condition that the $300,000 will be paid in full when the final payment comes in.
The committee is working on the development of 10 two-bedroom units for seniors on Ollerhead Drive in St. Anthony. The project is well underway and is expected to be completed early in 2019.
The Town of St. Anthony has been approved for beautification funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Department of Transportation, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII). ACOA will contribute $13,550 while TCII will provide $4,835. The town’s contribution is $955. The total cost is $19,340 plus HST.
Coun. Mark Pilgrim informed council that at the town’s Tourism and Development Committee meeting in November they discussed “focal points” to include in the beautification as well as branding.
There were no further details provided at the meeting.
Water treatment facility cost Pilgrim informed the table that construction of a water treatment facility, to remove THMs from the water, could cost as much as $10 million with an annual operations cost of $500,000.
The town’s last THM readings show between 130 to 145 ppb, indicating the amount was over the Canadian standard set at 80 ppb.
Pilgrim said the town’s Public Works committee will continue to reach out to government to determine what other possible solutions can be found for the town.
Discussion on SABRI’s senior housing project
Coun. Eric Boyd provided an update on St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc’s (SABRI) senior housing project.
The organization will be constructing new seniors housing on the former Harriot Curtis Collegiate School property.
Boyd says SABRI is hoping to have the old school torn down this winter, pending weather conditions.
SABRI has set up a committee for affordable seniors housing and staff will send out a needs assessment survey to see what the public wants.
Northern Residents Deduction
response ‘same old story’
The mayor addressed correspondence from the Department of Finance Canada, regarding the town’s wishes to receive a Northern Residents Deduction.
Since 1991, the Great Northern Peninsula has been excluded from the Northern Residents Deduction tax benefit.
Municipalities on the Northern Peninsula feel they should qualify for this benefit and the Town of St. Anthony expressed this sentiment in a letter to Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, dated May 24, 2018.
The town received a response in November.
McDonald called the department’s response, the “same old story.”
Coun. Boyd quoted from the letter, “The intent of the Northern Residents Deduction for Canada’s northern and isolated regions is to assist them in drawing skilled labour” adding that this is what the town wants to do.
“What they’re saying, if that’s the case, we qualify,” he said. “I don’t think we should give up on it.”
Deputy Mayor Howell added that examples of the vacancies at the hospital would make for a good counter-argument.
The town passed a motion to write another letter to Morneau.