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Crosswalks, lights, local waste facility on radar for Harbour Grace council

The Town of Harbour Grace is preparing to shut down the local dump if they do not receive a response from Eastern Waste Management within the next few weeks.
The Town of Harbour Grace is preparing to shut down the local dump if they do not receive a response from Eastern Waste Management within the next few weeks.

HARBOUR GRACE, NL — Concern regarding the safety of the roads near St. Francis, along with the progress at the local waste recovery facility were among several topics discussed at a recent Harbour Grace council meeting held on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Crosswalks and safety lights

Coun. Kathy Tetford addressed the possible issue regarding crosswalks a potential safety light installation along St. Francis.

Tetford noted that the Public Works Superintendent’s report said the town received permission to put a crosswalk along the road, and included pricing for single and double flashing lights.

“I’m going to go out on a limb here tonight and say, for the children, I’m going to put a motion forward that we get those crosswalks done, and I mean the road painted from the courthouse up to Military Road,” Tetford said during the meeting. “Also, with the double flashing lights, it should be something that the kids can push on when they’re walking across the road.”

The installation of the lights could cost the town upwards of $20,000, however, Tetford said that she felt as though the money should be of no concern to members of council when it came to the safety of children. Tetford wen on to put a motion forth that council come up with the necessary funds to properly install the lights.

“It’s a very, very, very important thing, especially now that school has started,” Tetford said.

Tetford’s motion was carried, however, Coun. Tony McCarthy piped up to express his personal disgust with the fact that council was being forced to do this work, when both the road and school were provincial property.

“It’s a provincial road, provincial school, and we have to ask their permission to do their work for them,” McCarthy said. “The town now has to come up with $20,000, and it’s unbelievable. I’m supporting the motion, but it’s disgusting that we have to make that motion at all.”

Coun. Hayward Blake followed up with a reminder that council made a motion two years prior, requesting the speed limit in the area be lowered to 30. Blake explained that the request was denied.

“We’ve been trying to get crosswalks there for a while,” said Blake.

Coun. Tetford went on to make a second motion, asking the town to send a letter to the Department of Transportation and Works, requesting for a second time for the speed limit to be lowered.

Coun. Gordon Stone piped up as well, making a third motion on the subject that, once funds for the crosswalk and lights were figured out, the town write a letter to provincial government requesting reimbursement for the money spent.

All three motions were carried.

Waste recovery facility

Council also discussed the local waste recovery facility on Incinerator Road in Harbour Grace.

In recent months, the Town of Harbour Grace and Eastern Waste Management have been handling issues regarding proper cleanup of the site. The town felt as though EWM was not doing their part to properly clean the site, however, EWM also raised concerns about illegal activity taking place at the facility. Council ultimately decided to put a stop work order in place for the site.

In the following weeks, council met with Ed Grant, chair of EWM, to discuss the future of the site. In an interview with The Compass following the meeting, Grant said that he felt as though the meeting went well, and that a stop work order was not yet being placed.

During Wednesday night’s meeting, Coun. Patrick Haire discussed the state of the site since the meeting. As far as he could tell, cleanup of the site had commenced. Haire said that there was a significantly smaller number of shingles on-site, which was one of the bigger issues council had brought forward to Grant.

“The last couple times I’ve been in there, they’ve had an inspector out from Eastern Waste Management,” said Haire. “There’s also a lot less looters up there. There’s nobody around now that are taking stuff out of it, and the inspector chased one fellow right to the door on his quad.”

Despite this, Haire felt as though once-a-week visits from EWM would not be enough, noting that the amount of waste being disposed of on the site on a weekly basis is only increasing.

Mayor Terry Barnes suggested that council give it a few more weeks, and keep an eye on the site. Barnes said that as long as Grant’s promises are kept, the site will remain open, however, if not, Barnes is still prepared to issue a stop work order.

McCarthy suggested some form of open communication between council and EWM, as opposed to council having to visit the site every week. Tetford followed this up with the suggestion of a weekly report on the site from EWM.

“The thing is, we can’t put up with garbage being thrown all over the town, it can’t be all over the place,” said Tetford. “I’m just wondering if we can put it to them that we want a weekly, or bi-weekly report from the employees in there of what’s being dumped, and what’s being moved out of there.”

Ultimately, it was decided that letters addressing these points would be sent to EWM.

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