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Harbour Grace looking to lower school zone speed limit

The digital speed radar, located near St. Francis, can only be operational during school hours.
The digital speed radar, located near St. Francis, can only be operational during school hours. - Chris Lewis

Change only operational during school hours

HARBOUR GRACE, NL — Harbour Grace council revisited the school zone speed limit, local ambulance service and stadium infrastructure.

First on Monday night’s agenda was Moore’s Ambulance Services – a topic initially brought up in a meeting held on Dec. 18, 2017. During that meeting, Coun. Kathy Tetford raised concerns regarding the local ambulance services for the Harbour Grace region. At that time, four staff members for Moore’s Ambulance Services had been laid off, and only two ambulance vehicles remained available.

Following this discussion, council moved to have Moore’s contacted for more information on the subject, which was relayed to council during Monday night’s meeting.

“The Department of Health, which regulates ambulance services, has plans in place in case there are more ambulances required, or if the ones available are somewhere else,” said Mayor Don Coombs. “There are always back up plans in place.”

Tetford then spoke up to clarify that the two ambulances currently available for the region have specific operation hours – one vehicle is available 24/7, while the other operates under a routine from Monday to Friday every week.

School zone speed limit

Speed limits in the school zone near St. Francis was a hot topic at previous council meetings as well.

This issue has been brought up at council meetings held in 2017. In January, Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams said she would like to see the speed limit near the school, which is located on a provincial road, reduced from 50 km/hr to 30, despite such a request being denied once in the past. After a request was sent to Steve Crocker, Minister of Transportation and Works, requesting more information about the possibility of reducing the speed limit, council received correspondence explaining a different avenue they could take to achieve their goal.

In the correspondence, it was stated that, if the town wishes to see the speed limit reduced to 30 km/hr, they can make this change during certain hours of the day only.

“The Town of Harbour Grace can put the speed limit in school zones down to 30, however, that’s only from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., when school is regularly held, and only on weekdays – Monday to Friday,” said Coombs as he read from the correspondence. “Should the town install digital radars, they can only be operational during these hours.”

Recently, a digital radar has been placed in the area, and council received confirmation that they can be turned on and off fairly easily. As per the correspondence, the signs are to be turned off after 5 p.m. on a daily basis, at which point the speed limit will return to 50 km/hr.

“Obviously, we’re going to have to put up some signs that explain that,” said Williams. “That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, it’s just a matter of putting up signs with a bit of wording saying the limit is dropped, and when.”

Windbreak Tender

A tender for the construction of a windbreak at the Danny Cleary Harbour Grace Community Centre has been awarded, according to Town Clerk Michael Saccary.

If all goes according to plan, Saccary said the work should begin approximately at the end of March, or beginning of April.

“It’s a matter of getting the concrete tubing and so on,” he said. “I told them I’d like to see it started by the end of March at the latest, so depending on how much the weather warms up between March and April, they’ll move from there, which is what the concrete part of it relies on. Most of the work is prefabs.”

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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