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2018 will be promising year for Grand Bank: Matthews

Rex Matthews talks about his hopes for the new year.
Rex Matthews talks about his hopes for the new year. - Submitted

GRAND BANK, NL – While 2017 was primarily a good year for the Town of Grand Bank, residents also had their share of hardship and loss, according to Mayor Rex Matthews.

“It was a tough year when it came to mental health (and) addictions, and the well being of our people – that was a tough one, very tough – with suicides. They shake the foundation of the community.”

Matthews said he is proud of the work the town does in cooperation with Eastern Health to improve mental health and addictions programs.
“There have been a number of major improvements made to mental health and addictions and well-being programs and services, not only for Grand Bank, but on the Burin Peninsula,” he said.
“We’ve made some major strides to help our people in the region, so I am happy with that – but it was tough in that respect.”

Matthews included infrastructure improvements on the town’s list of accomplishments.

“We did a lot of capital works in our community … we did major improvements on Lee’s Lane and the old road with water and sewer projects, storm sewers and new asphalt,” he explained. “We did the same thing on Stoodley Place.

“Around the town too, we did a lot of major paving upgrades … but we still have a long way to go.”

Matthews said he is pleased the town has been able to continue offering quality services without increasing taxes for five consecutive years.
On the radar
Matthews said there are many projects on the radar for the town throughout the year, including phase two of repairs to its dam and back-up water supply.

“We have done a lot of work on our dam, but we need to get the intake for our water away from the face of our dam because there is just too much sediment, sand and dirt that goes into our system.
“We need to bring that off about 10 meters from the face of our dam so it’s easier to put in good filtration systems and get our water supply up to where we should, and have it at a good reserve for the community in the event that there should be issues with the water supply in Fortune.”

The mayor is hopeful the project will be completed in 2018.

The town will also pay for upgrades at the pool to bring it up to standard in time for opening day in April.

Atlantic Pursuit
Matthews said he hopes 2018 will see the Atlantic Pursuit make its way out of the community.
The vessel, which once belonged Clearwater Seafoods Ltd., has been sitting in the town’s harbour since a rogue wave took the ship out of commission more than a decade ago.
“It’s like the vessel that didn’t want to leave home, and we’re cautiously optimistic that we will see that particular vessel leave our port, because we need to extend our wharf,” he said.
“We’ve added major up-grades to our wharf… we are hoping to start a second phase, so we need that vessel out of the way.”

When asked if he had a New Year’s resolution for the town, the mayor said it would be for council to continue to work for the town’s best interests.

“My resolution always is for council every year is that you work together well, you’re always focused on what’s best for your people and the community – you always put that first,” he said.
“Listen to your people and work hard do the things that municipalities do best, and that’s provide good, quality, timely services to our people.”

 

colin.farrell@southerngazette.ca

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