The following is a synopsis of the Dec. 5 meeting of the Lewisporte Town Council:
Garbage box replacement
Residents came forward with concerns about town equipment damaging waste bins during the winter of 2016 and spring 2017.
While policy had been passed stating the town would not be responsible for replacing damaged bins, the current council noted it was done with little advertising to the public.
Council approved a one-time-only replacement of the damaged bins and will work towards getting the policy change information to residents.
Roebotham Street installation
Installation of water and sewer from 1-7 Roebotham Street has been complete.
While the project was listed at $40,000, the town is still awaiting the final bill, as unforeseen circumstances –extremely hard rock – required a three-day rental of a hydraulic rock buster.
Public Works superintendent Corb Randell said the project was completed in eight days – including the three days spent busting rock – and while the rental wasn’t part of the estimate, he is expecting very little in cost overruns.
Winter shift begins
Public Works started its winter shift schedule on Dec. 4. The staggered shift schedule will run from 5 a.m.to 1 p.m. and 1 to 9 p.m., with the remainder of the crew working the regular 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule. Six people rotate through the shifts.
The concept had been adopted by the previous council as a means of cutting down on overtime payout.
Conflict of interest
Four conflicts of interest were declared during the meeting.
Coun. Perry Pond removed himself from the meeting regarding the approval of a $1,250-fence along the town’s parking lot and 2 Veterans Drive.
Councillors Pond, Kenneth Tucker and Brian Hooper removed themselves from the meeting during discussion about cheque registrations.
Regarding the process of declaring conflict of interest, Hooper would later say, it’s something one “can’t stress enough.”
He advised councillors to “keep it in the back of your mind” as failure to do so could be grounds for dismissal.
Digital sign use
The town is in the process of developing policy around advertising on the town’s digital sign. The direction being taken will see advertising limited to town use only. Town staff has been asked to use its own discretion until the policy is in place.
Tax reduction denied
A request for a reduction in the 2017 business tax rate from a business owner who felt the rate was set too high was denied.
According to Hooper, council could not adjust the tax rate for 2017, but a business tax rate reduction would be considered for 2018.
With three firefighters sitting on council, Coun. Calvin Smart asked about council protocol should the members be called to respond.
Smart said situations could arise where the departure of the three firefighters could disrupt quorum.
The Councillor was informed the nature of the call would determine the response. In the case of a structure fire, for example, all three members would be required to respond.
If that meant quorum couldn’t be formed, the meeting would be adjourned to a later date.