Town hears from com­mu­nity groups with bud­get asks

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY EVAN CAREEN

With the end of the year fast ap­proach­ing, the Town of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay is un­der­way with its an­nual bud­get­ing process.

Michelle Baikie, chair of the town’s fi­nance com­mit­tee, said for this year’s bud­get they’re look­ing to en­sure the town’s in­fra­struc­ture is main­tained and wher­ever pos­si­ble im­proved.

“Items such as road re­pairs, and water and sewer in­fra­struc­ture are vi­tal to our com­mu­nity,” she said. “As a town we also take the time to an­a­lyze our communities’ recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, and walk­ing trail net­works. In the past the town has en­joyed a great work­ing re­la­tion­ship with re­gards to de­vel­op­ing and en­hanc­ing ATV and snow­mo­bile trails.”

To as­sist in the process, the town held a pre-bud­get con­sul­ta­tion on Oct. 14 at town hall to hear from res­i­dents about what they want to see in the bud­get. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from three lo­cal groups pre­sented at the meet­ing with asks for coun­cil.

Colin O’Brien spoke on be­half of the Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion. He gave an up­date on the Pump­kin House project and what they need to com­plete it. He said they’re man­aged to pull to­gether over $2 mil­lion so far from var­i­ous funding sources and what they had in the bank. They have most of the money they need at this point, he said, but need some ex­tra funding to fin­ish some parts of the project.

“There is no short­fall on the build­ing,” he said. “To do all the com­po­nents our short­fall is $173,000. The re­quest that we had put into coun­cil some time ago was for $45,000, which would al­low us to fin­ish the rear site grad­ing, the con­crete walk­ways around the build­ing to al­low for ease of access and mo­bil­ity.”

He said they hope to have the build­ing open in April and plan to have an of­fi­cial grand open­ing in the sum­mer to co­in­cide with Expo.

The sec­ond group that spoke was the East­ern Labrador Arts Al­liance (ELAA) on be­half of the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Cen­tre. They gave a his­tory of the build­ing and or­ga­ni­za­tion, which was formed when Goose High School closed and the com­mu­nity was po­ten­tially go­ing to be left with­out a the­atre. At that time the ELAA formed and worked with the town and prov­ince to get the cur­rent the­atre up and run­ning.

For funding pur­poses the arts cen­tre is owned by the Town of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay.

“Our an­nual pro­vin­cial funding comes in the form of an op­er­at­ing grant from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment,” said Mavis Pen­ney, chair of the ELAA. “We get $160,000 to op­er­ate and what we found in the first cou­ple of years was this was short of what we needed.”

She said in the time since the cost of run­ning the the­atre has just con­tin­ued to vastly in­crease. It was brought up as well they are not an Arts and Cul­ture cen­tre, like in many communities around the prov­ince. If they were they would get more funding but would not be able to pro­vide all the ser­vices they do in the com­mu­nity, such as a re­hearsal space and a lower rental cost for lo­cal groups.

“Most the­atres in the At­lantic prov­ince do re­ceive mu­nic­i­pal funding in one way or an­other,” she said. “As we stand right now the ELAA cov­ers all of its own costs. Our build­ing in­sur­ance is pro­cessed through the town but the town bills us for what the in­sur­ance premium would be.”

She said the an­nual cost of the build­ing in­sur­ance is $8,000, and their li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance is $4,000. They are ask­ing coun­cil to cover that cost.

The fi­nal group to present was the Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay Re­cy­clers, who are hop­ing to have the town as­sist them with their vol­un­teer re­cy­cling ef­forts.

Cora Hamel-Pardy spoke on be­half of the group, giv­ing coun­cil a run­down of what they do and how much it costs.

She said since March of 2017 they be­gan gath­er­ing ma­te­ri­als that can­not be re­cy­cled lo­cally, pro­cess­ing it and send­ing it off to be re­cy­cled. In the last 18 months they have sent over seven tonnes of ma­te­ri­als to Nor­ris Arm North on the is­land to be pro­cessed.

“Ap­prox­i­mately seven tonnes of what used to be house­hold garbage was kept from the land­fill,” she said. “The cost of this project has been borne by the par­tic­i­pants.”

She said they need $18,000 from the town, two thirds of which would cover the cost of three truck­loads of ma­te­rial and the pro­cess­ing fees as­so­ci­ated with each. The re­main­ing money would help them pur­chase a used baler to help with card­board, some garbage cans and some fold­ing tables.

Hamel-Pardy said the funding would also help them hope­fully lever­age fur­ther funding from other sources and they are in the process of ap­ply­ing to the Mul­tiMa­te­ri­als Ste­ward­ship Board to help with costs. They have re­ceived funding from the Men­non­ite Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in the past, which has helped them keep costs down.

Baikie said the pre­sen­ta­tions were very in­for­ma­tive and very en­gag­ing.

“Coun­cil would like to thank the del­e­gates for sub­mit­ting their pro­posal for con­sid­er­a­tion when we re­view our 2019 Bud­get,” she said.

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