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Around the Grand Bank council table

Grand Bank municipal centre
Grand Bank municipal centre - SaltWire Network

GRAND BANK, NL – Grand Bank council met on Monday, Jan. 15.

Garbage truck debate renewed

Council voted to extend its agreement with Bugden’s Trucking and Excavation to park its garbage trucks at Lewis Hill for six months.

Within that time, council’s waste committee will conduct a review to see if there are other possible locations in town to keep the vehicles.

The decision came after a lengthy discussion about storage of the vehicles.

Council signed an agreement with Bugden’s to keep the garbage trucks at Lewis Hill, located near the entrance to Grand Bank, back in August of last year, after it was decided the vehicles could no longer be kept at Corner Auto Body, a gas station and garage located in a residential area on Main Street, because the vehicles are unsightly and unsanitary.

Bugden’s, the contractor for the Burin Peninsula Regional Service Board, recently requested the company be allowed to keep the trucks at the business again during the winter months, citing safety concerns when driving the vehicles down the slope at Lewis Hill onto the main highway as one of the reasons.

Some councillors thought the request to keep the trucks at Corner Auto Body for the winter should be considered or that another non-residential site could be found in Grand Bank.

Others were of the mindset that Lewis Hill was already a good site and Bugden’s had agreed as much when the agreement was first signed.

Mayor Rex Matthews, Deputy Mayor Clayton Welsh, Coun. Roger Brooks, Coun. Stan Burt and Coun. Jack Burfitt voted in favour of the motion to extend the agreement with a review. Coun. Rick Grikis and Coun. George Bennett voted against it.

Project asphalt a concern

Mayor Rex Matthews told council he was not pleased with the paving of the infrastructure project on Old Road.

The mayor said he had expressed his displeasure with an engineer on site this week.

Matthews said the poor job is probably a result of the time of year the asphalt was laid as well as being brought all the way from St. John’s.

“I thought that street down there would be like a runway,” he said.

Matthews said the contractor, however, had done an excellent job with the rest of the project to install new water, sewer and storm sewer infrastructure.

He recommended council make sure there was sufficient holdback in payment in case the paving job needs to be fixed.

“We need to take a good look before we sign off and make sure we’re getting our money’s worth on this one,” he said.

New firefighters

Council approved a motion to appoint Steven Clarke and Bram Whittle to the Grand Bank Volunteer Fire Department.

Council also recognized the recent retirement of Coun. Roger Brooks from the department after 25 years, offering their congratulations.

Tax collection

Finance committee chair Coun. Stan Burt indicated the town tax collection rate for 2017 was 98.44 per cent.

“It goes to show the type of character of the taxpayers of Grand Bank,” Burt said.

The rate has to be one of the highest in the entire province, Mayor Rex Matthews said.

Funding for re-development project

A motion was passed accepting funding for phase one of the town’s downtown/waterfront re-development project.

There was no other information available.

“Sparse details, but we’re going on faith,” Mayor Rex Matthews acknowledged.

Broken streetlights

The town is having an issue with getting streetlights repaired by Newfoundland Power in a timely manner.

Mayor Rex Matthews said a lot have gone out in the community in recent months.

Council has been told by the company streetlight repairs are not an emergency, Matthew said, pointing out the town has to pay for them whether they are working or not.
Matthews suggested council write Newfoundland Power to inquire about its streetlight policy and whether the town is entitled to a refund if streetlights are out for an extended period.

Coun. Stan Burt said it’s important the lights are working, particularly in the wintertime for people who are out walking.

“Safety is an emergency,” Coun. Jack Burfitt said.

Winter carnival approaching

This year’s winter carnival will run from Sunday, Feb. 4 to Saturday, Feb. 10.

Recreation director Tom Burton said scheduling for the event is well underway.

“We’re getting quite a few organizations coming on board,” Burton said.

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