By Jaymie L. White
Special to Wreckhouse Press
PORT AUX BASQUES – The most recent Town Council meeting took place on Thursday evening, May 3. Here are the highlights.
Economic Development Officer Shauna Strickland reported from the recreation subcommittee.
“There was a discussion on developing a digital file, basically a tutorial of how to use our equipment at the gym,” said Strickland. “The digital file will be uploaded to the TV in the gym and on our Facebook site. I’ve reached out to a couple of individuals asking if they would take that on and I’ve got a husband and wife who are actually looking at it, so I’m hopeful that they’re going to commit real soon.”
Strickland said the age limit was discussed and it was agreed that individuals aged 15 and older do not need parental consent, but anyone under the age of 15 would require written permission from a guardian.
Strickland said there were also further conversations surrounding the honoring of two patrons who have passed.
“We had a request to rename the broadcasting booth and the bowling alley after two patrons who are no longer with us. It was agreed that the plaque would be installed in the bowling alley and a nameplate would be installed on the broadcasting booth. We also discussed future requests and possibly getting a generic plaque honouring future patrons.”
Concerns were then raised that the cost of the summer program is quite a bit higher this year than last; however, it was clarified that the cost of the summer program will be $75 a week per child this year, down from $125 a week per child last year.
Mayor Brian Button said the cost is extremely reasonable considering how much time children spend in the summer program.
“Overall, it’s a reasonable rate per week. Most people use the summer program as part of childcare for the whole summer as well, because you’ve got six weeks of the summer and children are getting dropped off first thing in the morning and picked up late in the evening, so for $75 a week, that’s not too bad.”
Coun. Melvin Keeping said that for a parent putting their child in for a week it’s not so bad, but for the full season the price is still quite high. “If someone has two kids, or three kids, that’s a pretty big chunk of money. In the economy, after everything else has gone up, people are affected by the cost of inflation on gas and food and things like that, and another $400 for six weeks in the summer is high.”
Mayor Button shared that council had a conference call with Minister Gerry Byrne on what is ongoing with the Ukraine, and he is hoping for more details soon.
“I know our staff, from that conference call, has called around just trying to find what type of residences that we have when it comes to apartments, what might be available. We’ve been sounding out on jobs that are in the area, but MNL was developing a package that was going to be coming out to be able to try to bring all that stuff together. In the conference call there is no funding from government for municipalities to do it. Municipalities are sort of on their own when it comes to the funding part, but they’re going to be able to give the tools that we need to try to put things together.”
Mayor Button said there are a lot of pieces that have to come together and it’s not as simple as opening the doors for people to come but they are participating in the conference calls and trying to figure out what ways the municipality can help out.
Public Works Committee Report
Coun. Jim Lane shared the highlights, including some tenders that have gone out, starting with the one for the new salt shed.
“The committee discussed the bids that were received for this project and were well over the funding approval. We recommended that we would not accept the lowest bid at this time as we’re in discussions with Minister (Andrew) Parsons and the Department of Municipal Affairs on issues relating to moving the project forward.”
Also discussed was the tender for the removal of the old town depot.
“The town manager provided information on all submitted bids received, and it was our recommendation that the tender be awarded to the lowest bidder, Manuel’s Construction, for the sum of $23,000.”