By Jaymie White
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
PORT AUX BASQUES — The most recent town council meeting took place on Tuesday evening, Apr. 25. Matters discussed at this meeting included Wreckhouse Press winning three awards at the Atlantic Journalism Awards, the PAB Chamber Expo, a paving request for Bedrock Avenue, dilapidated properties around Town, the annual Clean Up Week, the municipal plan, and fire regulations.
Atlantic Journalism Awards
Mayor Brian Button took the opportunity to congratulate Wreckhouse Press on their wins at the AJAs in Halifax.
“I’m happy tonight to congratulate on behalf of council, René (Roy) who is here tonight. Both him and Rosalyn and the crew at Wreckhouse Press that do the work, I wanted to say to you a congratulations, not only on being nominated for three but winning all three in the gold category,” said Button.
“René mentioned to me today that, before they even had the chance to settle in, the first award was presented, and they received their first award before they could even get tucked away. It was shortly after that award went out that René got the other two back-to-back, so on behalf of us on council, it’s not a big operation you have, but to be going up against the big, top guns in the country and to win all three awards, certainly prestigious awards from the Atlantic Journalism awards, is certainly quite an accomplishment.”
The Lifestyle Expo, running from May 5 to 7, is shaping up to be a very large event, with 31 booths and 3 full days of presentations.
Mayor Button said there is going to be an exciting lineup of speakers and there are posters up around the community telling people what will be on the go.
“The big thing, besides the volunteer work René asked for at the last meeting, if anybody had any time, there is also a call too that we can put out there, that they have a lot of setup work that needs to be done and if there’s anybody that’s out around that can help out and try to get the preparation of getting that ready, giving the Chamber a hand to get that done, would be greatly appreciated.”
Paving request on Bedrock Avenue
Town Clerk Nadine Osmond, read out a letter from a resident of Bedrock Avenue who requested that the road be paved to the end.
The paving currently ends before the road does, which means it can be messy in times of rain and melting snow, causing issues with the curb appeal of the homes that have the mess flowing onto their properties.
Mayor Brian Button said it is a situation for the Public Works Department to take a look at.
“It’s that time of year, spring is here so Public Works starts to get busy again.”
Councillor Melvin Keeping said the Public Works Committee discussed the dilapidated properties around Town and assessed a number of properties.
“The Town Manager will prepare a follow-up letter to these property owners advising them of the Town’s regulations regarding dilapidated properties, ordering them to take steps to conform to our regulations.”
Clean Up Week
Coun. Keeping said the Public Works Committee held discussions surrounding the upcoming annual clean up week.
“We further discussed cleanup week and agreed that May 8-12 will be the dates and we also discussed that, given the amount of debris that’s been blowing around Town from Fiona, that we request funding from government to provide funding to have at least six dumpsters to be placed around Town for residents to avail of for cleanup around their properties. The Town will request this during the next meeting with government officials. We propose these dumpsters be made available as soon as possible,” said Keeping. “Also, the sewer outfalls that were damaged by Fiona will also be discussed with government.”
Town Clerk Nadine Osmond, said the municipal plan has been an ongoing process and they are at the end of it now.
“We did advise that people could write in with any concerns by a certain date and we did not receive anything, so we did not have to have a public hearing. After that date has passed, now we can approve a motion that it proceeds, and the next step would be now that the resolutions would be signed by myself and the mayor with the Town seal and have it sent in for provincial registration.”
The motion was passed unanimously by council.
Town Manager Leon MacIssac said fire regulations are going to need to be put in place to stop uncontrolled fires that are taking place within Town.
“We discussed the fire regulations before, previously within council. We need something to control the inadvertent burning of waste around Town. If you’re burning wood and materials like that, it’s fine, but people are burning much more than that. They’re burning wire, tires, garbage that more than likely should be going to the dump,” said MacIsaac.
“We need to bring in a set of regulations. We just had a fire this past weekend where somebody had a fire got out of control, the fire department was called, it turned into a situation that was unnecessary, and is up to the individual who was having the fire. They need to be presented with a bill for firefighting services as a result of that as well. If you’re going to have an uncontrolled fire, then you most certainly will be responsible for any fees relating to that as well. It’s any areas in Town. You can’t have people burning random garbage and waste around Town, it’s not permitted anywhere.”
MacIsaac added that the regulations will have to include how they are able to burn, what it has to be contained in, what the limitations on burning are going to be, and if they don’t follow the rules, the fire department will be called and the individual will have to pay the fees.
“We’ve had several calls for grass fires, and I know last year, we had call outs for fires where people were burning garbage, burning stuff that causes a bigger fire, those type of things. Our resources that are going out, it’s putting other homes in danger, and putting our volunteers with the fire department out unnecessarily, to deal with stuff they shouldn’t,” said Button.
“This is not about a person having a fire pit and sitting around their fire. This has nothing to do with that type of fire. That’s something I would welcome.”
Nuisance fires have the potential to cause delays elsewhere.
“I call that a nuisance fire and if we were to have what I would call a life-threatening emergency while we are over dealing with a nuisance fire, that type of thing is preventable,” said Button. “It needs to be noted and agreed on that anything regarding that needs to be sent to the owner who started the fire.”
Council also noted that the comments made to the volunteers firefighters who responded to the fire over the weekend were unnecessary and inappropriate.
“If you’re all volunteers and going to a scene, being threatened, being cursed at is one thing, but being physically threatened is another thing. We’re not going to have any more volunteers, so we need get a hold on that kind of stuff. It’s totally unnecessary,” said Coun. Gwen Davis.
“You can’t wrap your head around something like that,” agreed Button.