Grand Bank Town Coun­cil briefs

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY PAUL HER­RIDGE THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews said a new fis­cal frame­work for mu­nic­i­pal fund­ing was a hot topic dur­ing the re­cent Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador (MNL) Sym­po­sium in Gan­der.

The mayor noted dis­cus­sion on a new agree­ment be­tween the provin­cial govern­ment and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties will cul­mi­nate at the MNL’s an­nual con­ven­tion in Cor­ner Brook this Oc­to­ber.

He said he re­ceived a com­mit­ment from MNL pres­i­dent Churence Rogers while in Gan­der that the or­ga­ni­za­tion would not sign off on an agree­ment that is detri­men­tal for ru­ral towns and com­mu­ni­ties in the prov­ince.

“We have to get a fair shake, and if we don’t get a fair shake, and they bring this in, that’s it for the next num­ber of years. We’ll be tread­ing wa­ter for­ever.”

Mayor Matthews said re­gion­al­iza­tion was an­other com­mon theme at the Sym­po­sium.

“I’m think­ing, if we don’t do some­thing about fire ser­vices or re­cre­ation or an­i­mal con­trol, some­body is go­ing to tell us what to do. It’s bet­ter to do it on our terms, sit down with our neigh­bour­ing com­mu­nity and work out some is­sues.”

••• Town man­ager Wayne Bolt ac­knowl­edged he was ex­pect­ing a quote on the cost to clean up the old For­ward and Tibbo Build­ing site last week.

The struc­ture, which had be­come a safety con­cern, was de­mol­ished back in Jan­uary, but a sig­nif­i­cant amount of the de­bris was left on the property over the win­ter.

Mayor Rex Matthews ac­knowl­edged, “We have to fin­ish that job, and it’s our re­spon­si­bil­ity to do it.”

••• Stray an­i­mals con­tinue to be a con­cern in the com­mu­nity.

Mayor Rex Matthews in­di­cated a cat with a lit­ter of five kit­tens was re­cently found un­der a house and were be­ing kept at the town’s shel­ter.

“It’s pos­ing some is­sues be­cause the vet is gone for six weeks,” he ac­knowl­edged.

It was noted the SPCA in Clarenvill­e was con­tacted to take the an­i­mals but its fa­cil­ity was full.

Town clerk Cathy Fol­lett in­di­cated she had left a mes­sage with the Burin Penin­sula SPCA inquiring about the pos­si­bil­ity of avail­ing of its fos­ter pro­gram.

Mayor Matthews sug­gested it’s up to pet own­ers in the town to be re­spon­si­ble.

He said the town is plan­ning to work on a pol­icy with the Burin Penin­sula SPCA.

••• Nor­man Drakes has signed on as the new chair of the Grand Bank Come Home Year Com­mit­tee while Sharon Barnes is the group’s sec­re­tary.

Dur­ing coun­cil’s meet­ing on Apr. 28, Mayor Rex Matthews in­di­cated Ge­orge Cooper had re­signed as chair, and ex­pressed con­cerns about the event’s fu­ture for next sum­mer, given the dif­fi­cul­ties in at­tract­ing vol­un­teers.

Af­ter briefly talk­ing with Mr. Drakes, he sug­gested the out­look to be more pos­i­tive.

“We should have an an­swer, I guess, by the next meet­ing or two whether or not we’ll be full out.”

••• A re­view of coun­cil’s pol­icy on fur­ni­ture rental from the Bait De­pot has been com­pleted.

A de­ci­sion has been made that the ta­bles and chairs will no longer be re­moved from the build­ing other than for coun­cil pur­poses.

An out­stand­ing rental agree­ment for June, how­ever, will be hon­oured.

The change stems from con­cern about po­ten­tial dam­age to the fur­ni­ture.

It was noted dur­ing a pre­vi­ous meet­ing the ta­bles and chairs cost ap­prox­i­mately $15,000.

••• Coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing iden­ti­fy­ing iso­lated town-owned property where res­i­dents can store wood.

Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment chair Coun­cil­lor Roger Brooks in­di­cated sev­eral con­cerns had been re­ceived fol­low­ing a re­quest to lease town-owned land in the Court­ney Street area to stock­pile tim­ber.

Mayor Rex Matthews sug­gested the town put the proper terms and con­di­tions in place and des­ig­nate an area be­hind the Grand Bank Mu­nic­i­pal Cen­tre for wood stor­age.

The idea of a sec­ond lo­ca­tion in an­other se­cluded area was also floated.

Coun. Brooks agreed the com­mit­tee would con­sider the idea and promptly get back to town man­ager Wayne Bolt.

••• Re­quired safety up­grades to op­er­ate the Grand Bank Re­gional Theatre Fes­ti­val from its home in the Sa­muel J. Har­ris Build­ing this sum­mer were pro­gress­ing last week.

Town man­ager Wayne Bolt in­di­cated 15 fire de­tec­tors were to be in­stalled through­out the three lev­els of the build­ing while fire re­sis­tant Gyproc was also sched­uled to be put up by the end of the week.

If ap­proved once the work is com­plete, the theatre por­tion of the build­ing can be used for this year but all other sec­tions must re­main va­cant.

Mayor Rex Matthews said the fu­ture of the re­main­der of the struc­ture is the next big ques­tion.

“If the (Her­itage and Tourism Com­mit­tee) wants fund­ing, maybe this is the time they should start look­ing around,” he sug­gested.

pher­[email protected]­erngazette.ca

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