There is an effort to go green in the Bay Roberts town council and it is starting with the town clerk, Shirley Hawe, and the chief adminstrative officer, Nigel Black.
For the remainder of the summer, the pair will be using new iPads for council meetings and other council activities.
"The purpose for these two for having one is to prepare a report to council to see whether or not a recommendation will be made for council to purchase iPads for council use," said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood. "They can work out the kinks and we'll decide on the purchase of other devices in the fall."
The mayor said the decision to purchase these iPads was based on what town officials saw at provincial conferences.
Towns like Conception Bay South, Mount Pearl, Clarenville and Gander currently provide iPads to its councillors for town functions.
The decision was based on the amount of staff time used to photocopy and prepare council documents.
Woods surmised that each week there are some 1,400 photocopies made for each meeting.
"With the emphasis on being green and going green, the iPads are definitely the way to go when it relates to that," he said.
Woods indicated that Hawe has been in contact with other municipalities about how best to apply the technology.
"Initial reports have been promising," he said.
Country Road debate rages on
Country Road resident Roland Parsons appeared in council June 12 with the purpose of making his case for changes to the usage of the road as a thoroughfare.
Parsons presented a letter with his concerns and was open to answering any questions posed by councillors.
"There has been excessive traffic through Country Road since last year's upgrade to water and sewer on the Conception Bay Highway," he wrote in a letter.
Parsons has personally witnessed close to 200 cars use the road per hour on numerous occasions.
He said that number was an average for weekday usage and on weekends the number increases, adding "you can forget about it."
"I would estimate that more than 90 per cent of vehicles are using Country Road to access the highway and many of them are driving well beyond the posted 40 kilometres per hour limit," he wrote.
Parsons expressed his opinion that it is not safe for pedestrians to use the road because of its width.
Not only has the large volume of traffic been a problem for the residents, but an increase in the usage of the road by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) has become a problem.
Parsons told council that the users of the ATVs travel the road at "dangerous speeds."
Coun. Clarence Mercer suggested that the municipal enforcement officer, Perry Bowering, be requested to increase his patrols in the area, citing his success rate with ATVs.
Another option proposed by council was to possibly make the road a one-way street.
A numbers problem
Town officials expressed worry over the fact that there are still a good portion of residents who do not have street numbers prominently displayed on their homes and businesses.
A bylaw was created on Sept. 17, 2010 requiring all residents to have their home and business numbers displayed.
"I strongly suggest that our attempts to date are not resulting compliance rates necessary to save lives in the community," said Mercer.
The councillor indicated that he had surveyed Water Street residences and businesses, starting at the CB Highway, and found that 115 properties did not have any civic address prominently displayed and visible from the street.
An additional 165 properties were found in a similar survey conducted from Shearstown to the end of Butlerville.
"That's 380 properties along just two of our main streets," said Mercer. "You can just imagine the rate of compliance among some of our town's side roads. People are not taking this seriously and looking at our pleas as a nuisance rather than show a genuine concern ... to save lives and help residences."
Mercer said that on the day of the council meeting he had been told by the MEO that the RCMP was having trouble locating the home of a resident who had placed an emergency call because no street number was displayed.
"When an emergency vehicle has to drive past a residence several times trying to zero in on a specific property, valuable time is lost," he said. "It could be a life or death circumstance."
Mercer suggested that council increase its vigilance when trying to make the public aware of the inherent dangers in not posting civic address numbers.