By: Ryan King
The annual general meeting (AGM) of the Codroy Valley Area Development Association (CVADA) took place at the St. Ann’s center on Wednesday evening, May 26 with pandemic protocols in place for all attendees. Among the topics discussed were the CVADA building and woolen mill in Doyles, an upcoming Canadian Armed Forces project, a Codroy Valley Volunteer Fire Department update, the 50/50 community fundraiser, and the Community Service Gardens. Here are the highlights.
CVADA Building and Woolen Mill
An old area development building in Doyles, located by the woolen mill, both belong to the CVADA. In the early 90s there was money for infrastructure, and that was where the funding for building came from. It was well-used in its day and up until about 12 years ago CVADA did have a co-ordinator, but funding ran out for the position. No one is currently in the position and there has been no activity in that building since the early 2000s.
In the past it has been used as a rental space, usually rented to highway workers, engineers, etc. Those days are gone and the heating cost remains quite high.
There has been no luck in leasing either of the buildings. There were two special meetings on this already and an ad placed in the newspaper with no results. With proper due diligence done, it is time to let the building go. The CVADA is now looking to move forward with selling it off.
The woolen mill, the other building in question, was established in the 80s. It is an eye sore and a safety issue, and it has not been usable in years. There is a mold situation that can’t be rectified, as it would cost about $78,000 to fix. The building needs to be taken down in environmentally friendly way.
Carolyn Aucoin, a teacher at Belanger Memorial School, spoke on an upcoming military exercise that will benefit the area. On Dec. 4, 2019, Canadian Armed Forces commanding officer Jason Gale met with the CVADA and Belanger administration regarding the Codroy Valley availing of a military exercise, which will be based out of Stephenville.
The exercise is an annual training event that helps military engineers maintain levels of readiness by helping out non-profit groups by providing services free of charge. These can include bridge work, design, heavy equipment, and labour. They would take care of fuel and maintenance, but other materials are not provided.
The CVADA and Belanger applied for Fall 2020 and received approvals, but because of COVID the exercise was postponed. It has been rescheduled for Oct. 2. The group will set up a sub-camp in the Codroy Valley with up to 75 soldiers, depending on scope of project.
A date has been set in June to further design and make plans.
The CVADA has applied with them for the demolition of the woolen mill and the small side building, and to seal off a well. There will also be work done on the Starlight Trail and the Coastangs Trail.
Meanwhile Belanger Memorial School will receive help for developing a day park, with seating for outdoor classes.
Fire Department Update
Chief Brian Osmond presented on behalf of the Codroy Valley Volunteer Fire Department. The department consists of 35 members, 4 fire trucks, and a command truck.
COVID has negatively impacted fundraising for operations as the department had no choice but to cancel events like Mother’s Day supper. The hall has not been open to the public since March 2020, which has also affected fundraising because it meant canceling regular activities like bingo games.
However, emergency calls did not stop. In fact, they’ve increased.
There were 25 calls in 2020 – 4 motor vehicle accidents, 4 structure fires, 1 chimney fire, 7 grass fires, 6 false alarms, 1 community assess, 1 vehicle fire, and 1 medical assist.
With less than half of 2021 gone by, the department has already responded to 16 calls. These included four motor vehicle accidents, three chimney fires, one community assist, one false alarm, one vehicle fire, one structure fire, and three grass fires
The department hopes to start fund raising again by hosting events. On June 6 they will have a lobster supper drive through – take out. There were 276 residents last year that bought the supper.
The department will celebrate its 25th year of service to the Codroy Valley on Oct. 26. They hope to do something special to celebrate, but must plan for COVID restrictions.
Tracy Keeping spoke to the attendees as manager of the Leading Edge Credit Union (LECU), offering an update on the 50/50 draw. Working with the CVADA, the LECU had been granted two licenses, but only made four draws. Because of COVID the fundraiser had been interrupted and they needed to reapply.
Every shareholder at the credit union is entered in the draw, which takes place on Fridays after one o’clock. If the ticket drawn is a shareholder who paid for the draw, the winning ticket holder gets 50 per cent, while 10 per cent goes into an account for CVADA. The remaining funds go into the community initiatives account.
The fourth draw was on Friday, May 14 and the winner received $1,100 dollars.
Community Services Gardens
Megan Samms, together with partner Ash Hall, operate a small farm – Katalisk Sipu Gardens. The planned community services garden is largely a collaboration with LECU, with lots of input from local businesses.
A year ago they explored establishing a community garden in the Codroy Valley, but the typical model did not fit the area as there lots of land available to garden. However, there is still an opportunity for fundraising and food security.
Katalisk Sipu Gardens will build the garden, with materials they and other locals are donating. They will put up a community style garden, with a roster of volunteers to plant and tend the garden. The harvest that is grown will be donated to local community organizations that are fundraising, like the school and fire department. It will also offer an opportunity to learn about gardening.
Saturday, June 5 will be first big volunteering weekend. The work will include building beds, filling them in and planting. They will also be making a schedule for volunteering over summer.
They applied through the food producer’s forum, based on the East coast, working with a master’s student at Memorial University to develop earth sheltered green houses. These will be designed for the Newfoundland climate.
Out of 30 applications for this food program, only 7 were chosen, including this one.