Grand Bank coun­cil call­ing on new fish­eries min­is­ter to re­view clam de­ci­sion

Coun­cil briefs – July 18

The Southern Gazette - - Editorial - BY PAUL HERRIDGE GRAND BANK, N.L. [email protected]­erngazette.ca

Grand Bank coun­cil is hop­ing the new fed­eral fish­eries min­is­ter will con­sider re­view­ing and re­vers­ing the de­ci­sion on Arc­tic surf clams.

A mo­tion was passed to write a let­ter to Jonathan Wilkin­son dur­ing coun­cil’s meet­ing on July 18 mak­ing that re­quest.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau re­placed for­mer fish­eries min­is­ter Do­minic Le­Blanc with the North Van­cou­ver MP dur­ing a cab­i­net shuf­fle ear­lier in the day on July 18.

In Fe­bru­ary, Le­Blanc an­nounced a new li­cense for Arc­tic surf clams would be is­sued to the Five Na­tions Clam Com­pany, a new en­tity is made up of First Na­tions from the four At­lantic prov­inces along with Que­bec.

Pre­vi­ously, Nova Sco­tiabased Clear­wa­ter Seafoods Ltd. held the only li­censes for the species, pro­cess­ing them in Grand Bank.

The de­ci­sion was also made to give the new en­trant 25 per cent of the ex­ist­ing to­tal al­low­able catch (TAC).

Mayor Rex Matthews said he held a con­fer­ence call with Clear­wa­ter ear­lier this month. The com­pany is con­tin­u­ing to har­vest clams, he said, not­ing there was oth­er­wise lit­tle to re­port.

“When that quota is taken in, well, I guess we’ll get into de­ci­sion time,” he said.

Tires not a hazard

Town man­ager Wayne Bolt said an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of tires at a prop­erty in the Gunville area out­side Grand Bank has been in­ves­ti­gated and deemed not to be a hazard.

Con­cern was raised about the tires dur­ing coun­cil’s meet­ing on June 18.

Bolt said the tires were be­ing used to build up a road and can be used for such a pur­pose as long as cer­tain stip­u­la­tions are met.

Speed bumps pur­chased

Coun­cil ap­proved the pur­chase of four speed bumps and leg screws at a cost of $700 plus freight dur­ing the fi­nance com­mit­tee re­port.

Town man­ager Wayne Bolt con­firmed with the leg screws, the speed bumps are re­mov­able.

Garbage bin pur­chase

Coun­cil rat­i­fied to pur­chase 11 garbage bins at an ap­prox­i­mate cost of $1,100.

The bins have al­ready been bought and placed around town. Matthews said res­i­dents have re­sponded pos­i­tively to the bins.

Truck goes to ten­der

Ap­proval was given to go to ten­der to sell the town’s Ford Ranger pickup truck.

The ve­hi­cle will be sold as is, where is.

Re­de­vel­op­ment project

ten­der

Bolt said the ten­der for the first phase of the town’s down­town and wa­ter­front re­de­vel­op­ment project would be ready to go out within a cou­ple of days.

Once it is is­sued, there will be a two-week dead­line to sub­mit bids for the work, he said.

“The beauty about this is it doesn’t have to go to Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs to get ap­proval. Once it comes in, be­tween the en­gi­neers and our­selves, we can ap­prove it,” Bolt said of the ten­der­ing process.

Time­lines will be put in place to com­plete the work, he said.

A con­di­tion of the fund­ing for the project is that the money must be spent this year, he noted.

A mo­tion was also passed later in the meet­ing to ac­quire of two parcels of land in front of the Grand Bank Har­bour Au­thor­ity build­ing.

Bolt, who said the land would be use­ful for the re­de­vel­op­ment project, in­di­cated he had been con­tacted by an of­fi­cial with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in­form­ing him they were avail­able.

Na­ture trail work

Recre­ation di­rec­tor Tom Burton said work­ers re­cently spent three and a half days spruc­ing up the town’s na­ture trail.

Alders and brush had been cut away from a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the trail, he said, adding the next step was to do some trench­ing.

Coun. Jack Bur­fitt noted the trail has been cut nice and wide but, hav­ing vis­ited re­cently, pointed out there were a few muddy ar­eas.

Burton, who called the im­prove­ments a work in progress, said hope­fully those ar­eas would soon be fixed.

“We’re fully aware of where the trou­ble spots are,” he said. “It’s just get­ting that time now once we get the pip­ing in to do some trench­ing.”

Swim­ming pool stats

Burton pre­sented a re­port on the Grand Bank Swim­ming Pool com­par­ing use of the fa­cil­ity from June 15-30 for 2016 and 2018.

Among the stats, 1,124 peo­ple used the pool for pub­lic swims dur­ing the pe­riod this year as com­pared to 617 two years ago. Fam­ily swims had 128 users in 2018 com­pared to 119 in 2016. The num­ber of peo­ple for lessons was also up this year, 55 com­pared to 40.

Mean­while, two ses­sions of aer­o­bics in 2018 at­tracted 43 users com­pared to 19 for one ses­sion in 2016, and six chil­dren’s swim ses­sions this year brought in 135 users, while there were eight swim­mers for just one ses­sion two years ago.

The fa­cil­ity was rented 16 times this year com­pared to 18 in 2016.

The pool didn’t open in 2017 un­til July 1, so com­pa­ra­ble statis­tics were not avail­able.

“I was a bit shocked with the pub­lic swim,” Burton said. “It dou­bled.”

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