The Town of Bay Roberts is making changes to its travel policy.
At the town’s Jan. 14 regular council meeting, officials were presented with a motion by chief administrative officer Nigel Black that would see alterations made to the policy for the first time since 2006.
In the motion, Black said the issue of council and staff travel was discussed during 2014 budget deliberations.
“Based on the budget deliberations, and further discussion of the finance committee, an analysis was done of several other municipalities and government bodies to determine if our rates required some adjustment,” he said. “It is certain that some inflation has occurred since 2006 and this is most noticeable in the cost of fuel.”
The 2014 budget saw the allotment for staff travel reduced to $7,000 from $7,500. While the budget for council travel has gone from $10,000 in 2013 to $7,500 this year.
“These budgets will ultimately decide how much travel is done,” said Black.
For the past number of years, Bay Roberts has been working with two rates — in-province and out of province — when it came to travel.
These amendments would do away with the in-province rate, with all expenses falling under the out of province rates.
This sees a shift in meal allowances. They are as follows:
• breakfast goes from $8 to $10;
• lunch goes from $12 to $14;
• dinner goes from $20 to $26;
• incidentals goes from $5 to $10.
“It may have been at one time, but I don’t think the cost of a meal is any different in St. John’s than it is in Montreal,” said Black.
These changes were made in accordance with what similar-sized towns, such as Clarenville, have been doing.
The council also approved the increase of the per kilometre rate from 39.1 cents to 45 cents.
Enforcement officer changes
The town approved the signing of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Trinity Conception RCMP concerning the municipal enforcement officer (MEO) position.
“We have met as a group and we have had the RCMP enter into another MOU and this is effective as of Jan. 1 of this year and will last for a two-year term,” said Coun. George Simmons, who serves as the liaison with municipal enforcement.
This gives Perry Bowering, the town’s MEO, the opportunity to make use of data and communications services through the RCMP, as well as work with local members at a “greater level,” noted Simmons, and vice-versa.
“It also gives him the opportunity to avail of any training courses that may be available to him,” he said. “It’s really a framework of how we go about our business.”
In the MOU, obligations for the RCMP and for the town have been laid out.
Some obligations for the RCMP include:
• the RCMP will arrange appropriate training, subject to availability, for the MEO at the RCMP Training Depot in Regina, Sask. with the costs being absorbed by the town;
• the RCMP will ensure the MEO carries out his authority, responsibilities and duties in a proper manner;
• the RCMP will complete a performance review for the MEO and will be forwarded to the town by April 30 of each year.
While some of the town’s obligations include:
• the town is responsible for the costs of the salary, benefits, uniforms and equipment for MEO, which would also include costs such as overtime, if necessary, and travel outside town when required;
• the town will provide the MEO with the appropriate vehicle and will be responsible for all associated costs.
Speeding in Bay Roberts was hot button topic leading into the election, and remains a matter of discussion amongst many residents.
As per the MOU, Bowering would not be permitted to participate n any moving traffic enforcement unless under the supervision of the RCMP, but is able to give tickets for parking violations, snow clearing regulations, etc.
“All of those things under our act, and his authority,” said Simmons.
The council approved the commercial occupancy application for the Baccalieu Trail to assume control of the Cat Concerns thrift store on Bareneed Road.
The store is located in the former Mom’s Restaurant building across from the Trinity Conception RCMP Bay Roberts office.
Coun. Charlene Dawe-Roach questioned whether the SPCA had intentions of opening an animal shelter as the wording in the request was not clear.
She was assured the application was to take over operations of the thrift store currently operating in the community.
“We have a motion on the table for the SPCA to take over the Cat Concerns thrift store,” said Mayor Philip Wood.
The thrift is being used as a fundraiser for the eventual construction of a animal shelter in the area.
The request for approval comes after the town paid out a substantial amount of money to the Baccalieu Trail Animal Hospital in December 2013 for animal control.
“That’s why I think we have to support the SPCA in whichever way,” said Wood.
The final Bay Roberts 2013 housing statistics were noted during the meeting.
The town approved 62 new building applications in the previous year, while starting 2014 with another approval.