Ac­ces­si­bil­ity, cannabis and T’Rail­ways main­te­nance top coun­cil agenda

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - News - BY ROSALYN ROY Rosalyn.roy@gulfnews.ca Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

The Port aux Basques Town Coun­cil met on Tues­day evening, Oct. 9 to dis­cuss mat­ters, in­clud­ing im­prove­ments to Cole­man’s gro­cery store, the T’Rail­ways haz­ard and up­com­ing cannabis le­gal­iza­tion.

Melvin Keep­ing was the only coun­cil­lor not in at­ten­dance.

Fol­low­ing are some of the high­lights from the meet­ing: Cole­man’s Gro­cery Store Coun­cil in­tends to meet with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Cole­man’s food chain to dis­cuss im­prove­ments to its store. Coun­cil has been work­ing on a beau­ti­fi­ca­tion and im­prove­ment plan to the down­town area, and Cole­man’s has an­nounced plans to im­prove their store, in­clud­ing the frontage.

Mayor John Spencer wants to see ac­ces­si­bil­ity into the store ad­dressed for res­i­dents with mo­bil­ity is­sues.

“Wheel­chair ac­cess is a big is­sue. They don’t have ac­cess cur­rently. They say they have it, but I’ve wit­nessed many times over the side street is blocked,” said Spencer.

The mayor says cus­tomers at­tempt­ing to ac­cess the side ramp of­ten have to con­tend with traf­fic and poorly parked ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing de­liv­ery trucks.

Mean­while the side­walk near the store has been ripped up so that a low back can be poured for ve­hi­cles to more eas­ily ac­cess the park­ing lot.

Cannabis by­laws

Al­though the prov­ince has plenty of new reg­u­la­tions in place for the up­com­ing le­gal­iza­tion of cannabis, Coun. Jim Lane be­lieves that coun­cil must ex­am­ine its own too.

“We’re def­i­nitely go­ing to have to look at some by­laws,” said Lane.

The mayor con­curred, not­ing that a re­cent se­ries by The Globe and Mail has a lot of tips and rec­om­men­da­tions for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that coun­cil may wish to look at.

“We’re go­ing to have to get into that,” agreed Spencer. Af­ford­able hous­ing Town man­ager Leon MacIsaac con­firmed that the pro­posed lo­ca­tion for the af­ford­able hous­ing project on the site of the for­mer Bruce Arena has passed its en­vi­ron­men­tal assess­ment and is pro­ceed­ing ac­cord­ing to plan.

“The con­sul­tant has is­sued a set of draw­ings and matched the spec­i­fi­ca­tions to build to Gate­way Vil­lage Cor­po­ra­tion,” said MacIsaac.

T’Rail­ways main­te­nance

Lane spoke at length about the haz­ard sur­round­ing the ram­pant over­growth re­duc­ing vis­i­bil­ity and im­ped­ing traf­fic on the T’Rail­ways in the west­ern re­gion. ATV tourists of­ten en­ter the T’Rail­ways from Port aux Basques, and Lane is wor­ried not only about safety, but po­ten­tial im­pact on tourism.

“The trail is every­body’s re­spon­si­bil­ity re­ally,” said Lane. “I think as a coun­cil we should be writ­ing the Min­is­ter of Tourism and say, ‘Hey, you peo­ple need to get your butts in gear and clear that T’Rail­way be­cause it’s to a point now where the T’Rail­way is dan­ger­ous.’”

Lane said he has his own brush cut­ter and would go do it him­self were he per­mit­ted, but eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Shauna Strick­land noted that noth­ing can be done by vol­un­teers with­out proper per­mis­sion from the New­found­land T’Rail­ways Coun­cil.

Strick­land also noted that Tourism South­west pur­chased a large cut­ter at the cost of $10,000 sev­eral years ago for a non-profit group which could be brought out if per­mis­sion is granted.

“You’d have no prob­lem get­ting vol­un­teers,” ac­cord­ing to Coun. Justin Black­ler.

Ma­rine At­lantic ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing

Ma­rine At­lantic sent a let­ter in­form­ing coun­cil that given the need to com­ply with all reg­u­la­tions for its new ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing near the Bruce II Sports Com­plex on Hardy’s Ar­te­rial, con­struc­tion likely won’t be­gin be­fore spring of 2019.

In­ter­nal stake­holder con­sul­ta­tions, de­tailed de­sign draw­ings and de­vel­op­ment of ten­dered pack­ages are on­go­ing, and more in­for­ma­tion will be de­liv­ered to coun­cil as progress con­tin­ues.

J. R. ROY — SPE­CIAL TO THE GULF NEWS

Mem­bers of the Port aux Basques Town Coun­cil in­clude, front, Deputy Mayor Todd Strick­land, Mayor John Spencer, Coun. Justin Black­ler; (back) Coun. Ch­ester Cof­fin, Coun. Jerome Bat­tiste, Coun. Jim K. Lane and Coun. Melvin Keep­ing.

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