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Catching up with Marystown council

Town of Marystown
Town of Marystown

Marystown council held its regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Town hall project holdback deferred

Council has deferred a request for payment of the holdback to Lat 49, the company responsible for overseeing the town hall renovations project.

Coun. Andy Edwards, new chair of the finance committee, said he was not comfortable with approving the remaining money until some outstanding deficiencies with the building are addressed with the company.

Agreeing with Edwards, Coun. Keith Keating suggested a review of the project is needed.

After looking into the renovation costs to date, Edwards put the bill at $2,230,145,63.

He estimated the amount at as much as $900,000 over the initial budget, not including $100,000 for temporary office space or $40,000 for furniture.

“This council don’t know what happened,” Keating said. “We need to pull out the contracts with our staff and have a look at what happened here, and bring out Lat 49, (and) sit down and talk to them.”

Canada Fluorspar permit ratified

Council ratified a permit application for Canada Fluorspar Inc. (CFI) to construct a temporary fluorspar storage facility at Kiewit Offshore Services fabrication facility in Spanish Room.

Once CFI’s mining project is operational in St. Lawrence, the company will be trucking fluorspar to the Kiewit site, where it will be transported via ship.

The building will measure 33 metres by 80 metres.

Mayor Sam Synard pointed out the town receives a one per cent levy for larger commercial projects with capital costs over $500,000. Synard said CFI paid the town $5,600 for the permit.

Council also passed a motion to set up a meeting with senior officials from CFI in St. Lawrence with an aim to building a relationship with the company and discussing any mutual concerns.

Harassment review

Coun. Keith Keating said a review is needed of the town’s decade-old harassment policy.

After looking over the figures for a number of recent harassment claims involving councillors as well as staff dealt with by the previous council over the past couple of years, Keating said the cost to date is $164,910.29.

Keating, who described the amount as “outrageous,” noted St. John’s firms Goss Gilroy and Curtis Dawe were brought in to investigate the claims. He felt, however, they could have been handled internally with committees.

“I think that’s what we should put in place,” he said.

Street officially named

A motion was approved to officially name a street located across from St. Gabriel’s Hall on Ville Marie Drive as Raymond’s Road.

The street had previously been informally known as Pole Road.

Seeking clarification

The town will write the provincial government and Memorial University seeking clarification of the policy for doctor internships.

Mayor Sam Synard said there was an opportunity to attract at least one young general practitioner to the area.

“Apparently, the system doesn’t allow it easily for some bizarre reasons,” he said.

Pump problem

Council approved the purchase of a 150-horse power submersible pump for the Clam Pond pump house at a cost of $23,021.85.

According to public works committee chairman Coun. Keith Keating, there are three pumps at Clam Pond used to pump water to the town’s water treatment plant, only one of which is now working.

Operations and public works director Ben Letemplier said one of the pumps, which are 12 years old, failed this month, while another had stopped working earlier.

Recreation report

The town was informed by Sport Newfoundland and Labrador this month it has been awarded the eighth annual SportFest.

The two-day event, which will be held next June, is designed to showcase the diversity of organized sports available to youth in the province, recreation committee chairwoman Coun. Loretta Lewis said in her report.

Also during the report, a recommendation by the previous council to increase all rental fees by $5 at Kaetlyn Osmond Arena was motioned and approved. The increase was necessary, Lewis said, due to inflation of the costs associated with running the facility.

The arena opened on Oct. 6 and all programs are up and running with healthy numbers, Lewis said.

The facility received a major facelift in recent months, including a new dasherboard system, and feedback from the community has been excellent, she said.

“It looks wonderful and certainly gives it a whole new, fresh look,” Lewis said.

Meanwhile, Lewis acknowledged there was an ammonia leak inside the chiller at the arena in July, which she said involved a lengthy and costly repair.

Bring back Targa?

It looks like participation in the annual Targa Newfoundland road rally will be given consideration once again.

Tourism and special events committee chairman Deputy Mayor Gary Myles said the committee would be discussing the event at a future meeting with an eye towards bringing a recommendation back to council.

“I know it was a hot topic a while back, but I’m of the opinion, and it’s only me personally, that the previous council made the wrong decision when they took Targa away from the list of events that were happening throughout the year,” he said.

Myles said the committee also agreed it would look at reviving the Marystown Shining Seas Summer Festival.

“We can’t guarantee it’ll be the biggest and best there ever was, but we’re going to do our best to at least get it back on track and turn the corner,” he said.

As well, Myles said a focus will be placed on strengthening the committee’s active volunteers.

Commercial permits

Commercial applications approved during the planning and development committee report included:

- Juanita Lake-Pittman, to operate a mobile food trailer, The Grub Box;

- Jody and Lesley Reid, to operate a mobile cleaning business, Indisputably Speckless Cleaners;

- Rita Pittman, to operate a home-based woodworking business, Mudder and Me Creations;

- Beulah Francis, to operate a home-based business, Joys of Life Spa;

- Paul Green, to operate a home-based business sharpening skates, Cutting Edge; and

- Marilyn Blagdon, to construct a garbage shed at B and B Convenience at 17-19 Greenwood St.

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