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Catching up with Marystown council

Town of Marystown
Town of Marystown

MARYSTOWN, NL – Marystown council met on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Sizable subsidy to operate rec complex

The recreation complex is proving to be a costly addition to the town’s infrastructure.

Mayor Sam Synard indicated a direct subsidy of approximately $400,000 was paid to the YMCA to operate the facility last year.

The town is also responsible for outside maintenance of the building and property, he said.

Payment of monthly claims from the YMCA, which operates the facility on the town’s behalf, were approved during the meeting – one for $29,550 for September and another for $26,437 for October.

“We’re fortunate to have the footprint here, of course, but at the same time we need to acknowledge it’s expensive to operate,” said the mayor.

Synard said the town must work with the YMCA to make sure operating costs are as low as they can be while continuing to offer high-quality services at the complex.

Staff members resign

Council ratified knowledge and acceptance of a letter received from Barbara Walsh on Oct. 27, 2017 resigning from the position of director of finance and administration.

Payment of accrued annual leave in the gross amount of $4,440.26 and severance in the gross amount of $6,227.25 was also ratified.

Council also ratified the knowledge and acceptance of an email from the solicitor of Michael Walsh resigning his position as deputy clerk.

Council approved payment of accrued annual leave in the gross amount of $6,301.75 and four weeks pay in lieu of notice of $5041.50 for Walsh.

Employee’s legal fees reimbursed

Council approved a motion to reimburse an employee for personal legal expenses as a result of filing a harassment claim against another employee.

The amount of the compensation was $2,373.

It was noted fees relating to several other harassment claims filed during the previous council’s tenure had been paid for by the town.

Accessory building approved for searchers

Burin Peninsula Ground Search and Rescue is constructing a new building at the Marystown Volunteer Fire Department grounds on McGettigan Boulevard.

Council approved an application to build an accessory building, measuring 40 feet by 30 feet.

RFPs for capital works projects

Council is planning to follow a recent recommendation from the provincial government suggesting that municipalities complete requests for proposals (RFPs) for all capital works projects.

In explaining the reasoning, Mayor Sam Synard said consultants have different areas of expertise and towns may be able to negotiate better contracts.

“We do a fair amount of work here from a capital works perspective,” Synard said.

As a result, council voided recent motions relating to the hiring of CAP Management as consulting engineers for the town’s main water transmission line project.

A new motion was passed to obtain RFPs for engineering services for the project.

Tourism levy payment approved

Council has approved payment of the annual levy from the Heritage Run Tourism Association (HRTA).

The 2018 payment is $2,240, based on 40 cents per resident. The most recent census pegged Marystown’s population at 5,506.

The five major towns on the Burin Peninsula pay the levy to support the HRTA’s operations.

Funds to pay the levy have been identified in Marystown’s 2018 budget.

App in the works

The Town of Marystown is getting its own app.

Council approved a motion to engage the services of Appads Promotions for the development of a mobile app.

According to finance committee chair Coun. Andy Edwards, the app will include “features designed to reach and engage residents and visitors while enhancing the experiences and services offered by the town.”

The cost includes a one-time development fee of $2,415 along with a monthly mobile app plan of $113.
Funds related to the app will come from the professional services budget, Edwards said.

Capital works application submitted

Council ratified submission of the town’s 2018-19 municipal capital works application to the provincial government.

Seven projects were identified for funding.

They are:

A sewer flow monitoring project;

Phase one of a water and sewer project for Ville Marie Drive;

A project to upgrade water and sewer as well as fire and emergency services on Tolt Road;

McGettigan Boulevard road widening project;

Marine Drive water laterals project;

A water and sewer project for Pidgeon’s Road; and

Renovations of the Marystown fire hall.

Request to issue tickets

Council took another step towards creating a municipal enforcement officer position.

A motion was approved to write a letter to Municipal Affairs Minister Eddie Joyce requesting ministerial approval that the Town of Marystown be added to the list of towns in the province permitted to issue tickets.

Council previously approved a motion to develop a job description for the position.

Motion coming to remove garbage boxes

To help deal with the rodent problem in Marystown, Coun. Keith Keating gave notice he is planning to bring forward a motion asking residents to remove their garbage boxes.

Keating acknowledged he continues to get calls from residents complaining about rats.

“It’s really, really a big problem in Marystown,” he said.

The discussion then turned to the use of cats to deal with rodent issues.

Coun. Mike Brennan said there’s a program in St. John’s whereby feral cats are caught, neutered and released as a means of dealing with rodents.

Fee for putting garbage out early

Marystown residents are going to be charged a fee for putting bulk or regular garbage curbside on any other day than the scheduled pickup date.

Coun. Keith Keating proposed the successful motion.

Keating said fees and other details would be worked out in the budget process for next year.

Traffic concern raised

Coun. Andy Edwards raised concerns about transport trucks using Canning Bridge.

Edwards said he had spoken with a resident whose daughter was nearly struck while they were recently crossing the structure.

Though transport trucks are supposed to take the Creston Causeway route into the main area of town, many continue to enter from Creston Boulevard, Edwards said.

He noted the bridge is the responsibility of the Department of Transportation and Works.

Nominees approved

Council approved the submission of two nominees for the Historic Sites of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Manning Awards of Excellence.

The suggestions, which were proposed by the tourism and special events committee, are the Marystown Heritage Museum and St. Gabriel’s Hall.

The awards recognize outstanding achievement in presenting Newfoundland and Labrador's heritage.

Targa liaisons

Tourism and special events chair Deputy Mayor Gary Myles said three members of the committee will act as liaisons with Targa Newfoundland.

Myles, Terry Brennan and Corey Ducey will represent the town’s interests and attend Targa meetings to ensure council is kept apprised of road closures and other decisions about the Marystown portion of the event.

Supporting plastic bag ban

A letter will be written supporting Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador’s position that a plastic bag ban be implemented in the province.

The letter of support was recommended by the protections to persons and property committee.

MOU signed with Kiewit for fire services

Council approved the ratification of a memorandum of understanding between Kiewit Offshore Services and the Marystown Volunteer Fire Department.

The department will provide fire services for the duration of construction of the living quarters module for Husky Energy’s West White Rose extension project at the company’s Cow Head fabrication site.

Crestview Heights created

A recommendation by the protection to persons and property committee was approved to rename a road off Creston Boulevard where properties 241-271 are located.

The street will be named Crestview Heights.

Committee chair Coun. Nora Tremblett said the recommendation was made so the properties would be more easily identifiable for emergency services and with the understanding the town is not responsible for maintaining services on the road.

Beaver in Paddy’s Pond

Recreation committee chair Coun. Loretta Lewis said concerns had been received from people walking the trail around Paddy’s Pond about a beaver in the area.

Recreation director Rob Warr had spoken to officials with the provincial government, Lewis said, adding the town was advised not to the trap the animal.

She said the town was working with the province on a solution and said the goal was to make sure no one gets injured.

Also during her report, Lewis said an application has been submitted for a proposed community garden.

The committee has two locations in mind located in the middle of town, Lewis said, adding she was unable to disclose the sites just yet.

As well, Lewis said the town has received verbal notification it will get an additional $15,000 under the provincial community enhancement employment program (CEEP).

Lewis said the funding will be a continuation of the town’s current application instead of a new submission.

“It’s wonderful to see that approved,” she said.

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