By Ryan King
Community News Reporter
PORT AUX BASQUES — The most recent council meeting was held on Tuesday evening, Mar. 1.
War in the Ukraine
Mayor Brian Button offered his sympathies to residents in the Ukraine that are under attack by Russia. The town has ordered a Ukrainian flag to fly in support at the town hall when it arrives.
Come Home Year
The town received $2,000 in funding from the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs (MNL). The funds will be made available on Mar. 31.
“So that was the amount that we could apply for, so we did get that,” said Button.
The Come Home Year celebrations were approved to take place this summer from Jul. 28 to Aug. 6.
Split vehicle funding
An application to purchase a replacement split-body waste collection vehicle was not approved. Button said that with the province moving towards regionalization of services, they should be in support of the funding for a new vehicle that serves the entire region.
“We applied on behalf of the marine mountain zone waste management committee, which involves 21 municipalities,” said Town Manager Leon MacIsaac.
The Mayor said that this matter will be worked on.
“Let’s see if we can get that reversed,” said Button.
The condition of the Grand Bay West trail was discussed and the gabion cages that were installed to protect from erosion.
“More will be installed in the spring and summer,” said MacIsaac.
The town had recently received the first portion of the funding for the town’s proposed community market. This funding was from the province, and the town is still waiting on federal funding.
Funding was submitted for the installation of an outdoor refillable water station on Grand Bay West beach.
The committee is investigating funding for a regional trail system. The system will range from Rose Blanche to Cape Anguille.
The committee discussed the downtown revitalization, which includes plans to improve Scott’s Cove Park, with major upgrades to the performance space.
An application to the Multi Materials Stewardship Board was submitted and approved to clean up the Railway Heritage Museum site.
Initiatives to clean up the town for come home year were discussed. One project with be a ‘Adopt a spot’ program, where the town will provide flowers and the applying group would maintain them.
“There will be 12-plus sites available for adoption throughout the town,” said MacIsaac.
Public works report
Coun. Melvin Keeping presented the public works committee report.
The installation of an amber light at the intersection Martin’s Corner was investigated. The Town Manger will examine the costs before committing to the initiative.
A drainage issue at the Transfer Shed was examined and the condition of the asphalt, but to investigate further the committee will need to wait until the spring.
The committee recommended that the town approve moving the light poles along the causeway, but to not place them where a sidewalk could be installed.
The majority of the committee recommended the town move ahead with the new Municipal Salt shed tender.
The committee will be meeting with the Love of Paws organization and will report back with more info on their plans to establish an animal shelter in the town.
The old municipal depot was discussed and how to dismantle it. It was recommended that the town put out a Request For Proposal as soon as possible to begin removing it before Come Home Year.
The Mayor agreed that removing it is important.
“It’s one of the biggest eyesores we have,” said Button.
Human resources committee
Coun. Gwen Davis presented the report.
The current superintendent of public works was given a performance review. The employee was found to have progressed well and it was decided that the probationary period would no longer be in effect.
“Of course, annual evaluations will also continue,” said Davis.
A report brought in from the recreation committee was discussed about the Bruce II pool operations on the assignment of staff and the requirements for the office.
Coun. Jim Lane said that it would offset some of the problems from having call-ins and students in on weekdays.
“The added expense in reality is about five hours,” said Lane.
“By doing what we’re recommending, we’d have somebody in the office in the evenings as well,” said Davis.
Hours for staff at the pool be adjusted to improve scheduling.
“That would give us the good coverage for the office,” said Button. “We don’t want to have different people going in and out of the office.”