Around the coun­cil ta­ble

Grand Bank coun­cil briefs

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL - BY PAUL HERRIDGE

The Grand Bank town coun­cil met on Mon­day, Dec. 5. Wharf re­con­struc­tion con­tract

A con­tract for the first phase of the wharf re­con­struc­tion project in Grand Bank has been awarded to RJG Con­struc­tion Ltd. for $5.6 mil­lion.

Mayor Rex Matthews said the town was in­formed of the de­ci­sion dur­ing a tele­con­fer­ence with Bill Gould­ing of Small Craft Har­bours on Nov. 3.

Town man­ager Wayne Bolt said there was quite a dif­fer­ence in the five ten­ders that were re­ceived. The high­est was over $11 mil­lion, he said.

Matthews said he wasn’t sure when the project would start but noted the work is sup­posed to be com­pleted by March 2018.

Con­tract change for out­side work­ers

Coun­cil ap­proved a re­quest to change the town’s con­tract for out­side work­ers re­lat­ing to fam­ily leave.

Matthews said the ad­just­ment is a mat­ter of a mi­nor amend­ment in word­ing.

“The most ( time) you can get (off) is three days,” he said. “Most of our peo­ple will get prob­a­bly one, one and a half days. It’s not a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease but it’s con­sis­tent.”

The change brings the con­tract in line with man­age­ment staff and pool em­ploy­ees, town clerk Cathy Fol­lett said.

In­creased schol­ar­ship fund­ing

One of the pos­i­tives to come out of the town’s re­cent mu­nic­i­pal bud­get for 2017 was more schol­ar­ship fund­ing for stu­dents at John Burke High School.

Matthews said in previous years the town spon­sored a sin­gle $500 schol­ar­ship.

For next year, how­ever, three more $500 schol­ar­ships have been ap­proved, he said.

The town re­cently met with John Burke prin­ci­pal Lee Masters, who will bring back rec­om­men­da­tions from the high school’s com­mit­tee on the cri­te­ria for award­ing the schol­ar­ships, the mayor said.

Mean­while, Matthews said John Burke is also try­ing to host a pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship con­fer­ence for stu­dents in Oc­to­ber 2017 that would bring up­wards of 500 youth from across New­found­land and Labrador to the area.

Coun­cil agreed to sup­port the school’s ef­forts to bring the event to the re­gion.

“It think it would be a real boost for our school and for our com­mu­nity of Grand Bank and For­tune,” Matthews said.

Im­pressed by the ‘Y’

Matthews and re­cre­ation di­rec­tor Tom Bur­ton toured the new re­cre­ation com­plex in Marystown op­er­ated by the YMCA re­cently.

The mayor said he was im­pressed by the fa­cil­ity and the staff – some of whom are from Grand Bank, he noted – call­ing it a good ad­di­tion to the Burin Penin­sula.

“I’m telling you, that is a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity, and if any­one has got the priv­i­lege to use it, they’re lucky peo­ple,” he said.

Park­ing lot noise com­plaint

Coun. Stan Burt said he re­cently re­ceived a call from a res­i­dent re­gard­ing the park­ing lot at the Pro­vin­cial Sea­man’s Mu­seum.

“I think there’s a gath­er­ing of young peo­ple hap­pen­ing down there, and there’s a lot of noise, screech­ing of tires,” Burt said.

A one time a chain at the en­trance to the mu­seum pre­vented any­one from en­ter­ing the area when the fa­cil­ity was closed. The ob­sta­cle is no longer used, how­ever, pos­si­bly due to safety or fire con­cerns, Fol­lett said.

The town plans to raise the is­sue with mu­seum staff and the RCMP.

Re­cre­ation ru­mi­na­tions

The town had a suc­cess­ful year host­ing var­i­ous events, in­clud­ing Canada Day and Re­mem­brance Day, Bur­ton ac­knowl­edged.

“I think a lot of it is due to the fact that it’s never sta­tus quo,” he said. “We’re al­ways try­ing to im­prove, which I think we need to keep that in mind be­cause sta­tus quo doesn’t cut it no more.”

Some prepara­tory work is be­ing done in­side the swim­ming pool to re­paint the build­ing and give it a facelift, Bur­ton said.

“Some of the posters or sig­nage was dated, so that’s be­ing re­moved and is go­ing to be re­placed,” he said.

Bur­ton said hope­fully the re­sult will be a brighter, live­lier and more user-friendly fa­cil­ity.

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