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Port aux Basques council deals with Charles Head bus stop and speedy motorists

Emily May with Port aux Basques Mayor John Spencer.
Emily May with Port aux Basques Mayor John Spencer. - Rosalyn Roy

The Port aux Basques Town Council met for the only time this month on Tuesday evening, July 12. Following are some of the matters they discussed:

Charles Head bus stop

Emily May, a young student who wrote to council about safety concerns at Charles Head bus stop, attended the meeting in person to read aloud her letter and get an update.

Council advised May that the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) agrees that the stop’s current location at the entrance to the parking lot of the Salvation Army Thrift Store is unsafe. However, a proposed relocation to the other side of the courthouse has also been deemed unsafe because of a gravel thoroughfare next to Andy’s Rainbow Park and because of poor traffic sightlines.

The NLESD would prefer to see the stop relocated to the other side of Charles Street near a privately owned vacant lot. Town council will contact the lot owner about the possibility of erecting a shelter for the children in that area.

Speed zone safety

Council also expressed concern about road safety infractions. A resident of Regional Street wrote to council about speeding drivers, sometimes double the posted 30 kilometre/hour speed limit. Drivers are also said to be routinely ignoring the no parking signage on the street.

Mayor John Spencer told council he was advised of a fatality involving a child that occurred in that area in the past. Council also discussed fast drivers in the Grand Bay area and noted that there have been accidents involving children there as well.

Council will reach out to the RCMP to see if they can increase patrols in certain areas, and noted that complaints about school zone drivers seem to be down since the detachment has increased its presence there.

Recreation committee

The recreation committee has arranged for walking trail hikes as part of its summer outdoor recreation program. The hikes will be led by Colin Seymour and will vary in difficulty.

Starting in 2019, the committee will ask groups using outdoor town properties such as the sports fields to pay a $5 per person registration fee. The money collected will be applied towards maintenance costs. It was noted that groups using indoor facilities are already subject to a fee to help offset the costs of upkeep.

The cost of the summer sports program went up this summer. The cost to register a child increased by $10 dollars to $160, while the fee to register a second child increased to $90 from $75. The committee reported that the summer sports programs are full this year with no one having to be wait-listed for a spot.

Southwest Coast Joint Council

Newfoundland Power discussed its energy programs and cost savings measures to municipalities at a June 2 meeting in Port aux Basques. The corporation also answered questions surrounding net metering for wind and solar power.

Council noted that it has reached out to the private companies that initially requested a meeting to discuss the possibility of wind energy in the area, but so far no firm date has been set.

The next meeting of the Southwest Coast Joint Council is slated for Sept. 8 in Ramea.

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