Bay Roberts budget item could be costly

Nicholas Mercer
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Town allots $2.5 million for street upgrades

An item in the 2014 budget could end up costing the Town of Bay Roberts more than originally thought.

 

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood

When the town approved the budget in December, there was money allotted for the purchase of a generator for the municipal building in case of a future power outage similar to what happened in January.

The purchase of the generator has been estimated at $33,000, which is a number that could rise in the future.

At the town’s April 15 regular council meeting, Coun. George Simmons said additional installation costs were not expected.

“What we didn’t really understand was the cost of installing (the generator), which surprised us all really,” he said.

This could cost upwards to some $23,000 in additional funds, and would only supply heat to the downstairs level of the building.

The high cost was attributed to the electrical system being used at the old Western Union Cable Building, which is now the town hall.

“It’s a lot of money. More than we anticipated,” said Simmons.

“I’d like to know (from) other towns, what they use and what it cost,” added Coun. Bill Seymour.

The installation price was a projection provided by one company approached by the town.

“It’s not something that I determine. It’s something a professional determines and tells us what we need,” said Simmons. “It’s up to us whether we buy it or not.”

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood asked whether there were any alternatives available.

“Bottom line, we have to do something,” he said.

Council did not make a decision on the issue during the meeting, but decided to have further discussions.

Capital works breakdown

Meanwhile, the town is already making plans on how to spend its 2015-17 Multi-Year Capital Works funding.

During the meeting, the town tabled the issue, which amounts to some $3 million when it kicks in a year from now.

Using a recommendation from director of public works Sean Elms, council approved the decision to use more than half of the funding ‒ $2.5 million ‒ on street upgrades, while the rest will be allotted for water and sewer upgrades.

These street upgrades would include storm sewers, curb and gutter and sidewalks, according to Elms.

“The water and sewer is little, and you’re only going to get a couple of streets, but from what I can tell our pipes are still relatively young,” said the director.

Pedestrian safety

Bay Roberts has taken steps to ensure better pedestrian safety around one of its schools during the meeting.

Council approved the future installation of sidewalks starting at Track Road and ending as far as Bishop’s Road.

This stretch will take in Amalgamated Academy and help the large number of students who regularly walk to and from the school.

“Taking in Amalgamated will be great,” said Seymour.

The cost of installing the sidewalks was not presented, but it could cost between $100 and $150 a metre.

The move was approved unanimously and greeted with enthusiasm by the councillors in attendance.

“Excellent location,” said Wood.

Superintendent to retire

Meanwhile, a longtime employee with the town will be stepping down early this summer.

Public works superintendent Pat Foley will be retiring on June 27 after more than 40 years with Bay Roberts.

White’s Lane changing classification

Motorists will find things a little different around White’s Lane in the east end of Bay Roberts.

After a letter from a resident was submitted to council, the town has decided to change the tiny street from a two-way street to a one-way street.

“We will be erecting signs at the beginning of White’s Lane and the end of White’s Lane indicating the direction of traffic,” said Simmons.

nmercer@cbncompass.ca

Organizations: Western Union Cable Building, Multi-Year Capital Works, Amalgamated Academy

Geographic location: Bay Roberts, Track Road

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