Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A YEAR TO BE PROUD OF


Clarenville has had a lot of great community building activities during 2012 that we can all be proud of.   There were two common elements in each one of these activities:  They were led by people who saw the opportunity and “dared to do”.   And secondly, the people of Clarenville – the essential ingredient - got involved in making the ideas a success.
As people who are out there looking for a place to live and grow their families see this sort of community spirit in Clarenville our reputation as THE PLACE to live will only grow.  Kudos to you all. 
 








   

Any Mummers Allowed in? They certainly are!

Today, the concept of dressing up to disguise one’s identity and then barging into other people’s houses as a Mummer, is something that most law abiding people would simply no longer do.  But it was fun.  

Almost all of us who grew up in here in Nl have seen the classic Mummers episode from Land and Sea.  If you have not seen that episode you have certainly heard Simini’s Mummers Song. The episode and the song that inspired it arguably saved mummering from extinction. 
Three years ago, The good folks in St. John’s hatched a plan that captured the fun of mummering while at the same time keeping people from being arrested.  The St. John’s Mummers festival has been a phenomenal, family friendly success.   http://mummersfestival.ca/
This was just enough inspiration for Lisa Browne to dare to try it here in Clarenville.  She convinced Rotary, me and many others that this could and would work here, so we decided a few months ago to give it a try.
We promoted it with posters and through Our Town and we even made a Video, but until 2 o’clock Sunday, the scheduled start time for the parade, we had no idea how it would go over.   WOW
Mummers came from everywhere – young, not so young, men, women people from Clarenville, from outside Clarenville and they were dressed to mummer – and they did and they had a great time doing it. 

Since the Parade, the pictures and video that we posted have received hundreds of views each, and this single event has generated the most comments ever.  There's an appetite for this rekindled Christmas tradition and we will now work to make it grow.  

You have a year to work on you outfit ;)  
Click to Pictures link.  
Video

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Clarenville's 2013 Budget


It's budget time again in Clarenville. Here is my account of the budget presentation:

Here's the Packet's link to AUDIO of the Budget Council meeting
What is a Budget anyway?
Each year, governments and organizations plan their expenditures and their revenues for the coming year.   The budget process forces the planning process and, in theory, it improves how and where money is spent.   On December 11, Con. John Pickett, Chair of the Finance committee of Council for the Town of Clarenville presented the 2013 Budget to a public meeting of Council.  What follows is an unofficial  summary of the 2013 budget presentation.   
The Opportunities and Challenges of Growth: Clarenville Statistics
·         Clarenville’s population has grown by 14% in the past 5 years.  This makes us one of the fastest growing towns in the province with an official 2011 population of 6,036 people.  See: http://ourtownclarenville.blogspot.ca/2012/02/clarenville-grows-144-in-5-years.html
·         As at the end of November 2012, the Town of Clarenville had issued 60 residential building permits  worth $12m and 6 commercial building permits worth $6m
·        Over the past three years, the Town of Clarenville has issued 242 Residential Permits and 20 Commercial permits rep[resenting $68m worth of investment in our town.
·         The growth has placed pressure on the Town’s resources, and coupled with aging and worn infrastructure, this growth continues to pose a significant challenge for the Town.
·         Revenues and Expenses are projected to be $9,040,832 - an increase 6% over 2012.

Revised Mil Rates ($ of tax per $1000 of assessed property value)


  • Residential Mil rates are reduced from 7.75 to 6.5
  • Commercial Mil rates are reduced from 8.5 to 8.25


Where Clarenville Plans to get its money for 2013
Revenue Category
Budgeted Revenue
(in thousands of dollars)
Percent of Total budget
Percent Increase(decrease) over previous year
Residential Property Tax
$2,680
30%

Commercial Property Tax
$840
9%

Business tax
$1,780
20%

Water and Sewer tax
$1,540
17%

Contribution to Debt Servicing
$877
10%

Other Revenue
$101
1%

Recreational revenue
$498
6%

Poll tax
$260
3%

Gas Tax
$226
2%

Provincial Op. Grant
$145
2%

Interest revenue
$60
1%

Grants in Lieu of tax
$35
0%

TOTAL Planned Income
$9,041

100%
6%


Where Clarenville plans to spend its money in 2013
Clarenville planned expenditures are broken into seven broad categories:

Budgeted Expenditure
(in thousands of dollars)
Percent of Total budget
Percent Increase(decrease) over previous year
General Administration
$1,176
13%
4%
Fire and Emergency Services
$277
3%
(10%)
Transportation
$1,953
22%
7%
Environmental Health
$1,200
13%
1%
Planning and Development
$148.4
2%
25%
Culture and Recreation
$1,014
11%
11%
Fiscal Expenditures
$3,274
36%
6%
TOTAL Planned Spending

$9,041
         100%

6%

Specific investments will be made in:
-          Wage increases for staff
-          Clarenville's brand management initiative
-          New equipment for the Fire Department
-          Increases in honorariums and on call payments for members of the fire department
-          A Municipal Enforcement Officer
-          More summer public works Staff
-          More focus on doing capital works projects in-house
-          More money for the town's garbage contractor owing to growth
-          More money to raise Clarenville’s profile as a great place to live through branding and better communications.
-          Events Centre staff wage increases
-          Clarenville's hosting of the 2014 Provincial Winter Games
-          Phase 2 of the Age Friendly Park on Gladney Street
-          New fencing for the Town’s tennis courts
-          New playground equipment
-          A Vehicle Management System (portable electronic sign)
-          +$700k for road improvements
-          $2.3m for capital works with focus on Park Avenue and Forest Road Area
-          $200k towards improvements to a community chalet and Elizabeth Swan Park (partnering with Kraft Celebration Tour and ACOA)
-          A new property tax reduction policy for low income families.  Based on income this would effective progressively reduce taxes for qualifying home owners.

No Increase in Taxes?

In a brief press release issued today, the Town states that this budget contained "No new taxes or increase to existing taxes".  Although this may be technically true, it is arguably a misleading statement - most taxpayers will actually pay more tax in 2013.  

As you can see in the example below, taxpayers will, in most cases, be paying more owing to that fact that assessments have risen more that the mil rate was reduced.  An "average" home will see their tax bill rise on the order of 7%.  




Saturday, December 8, 2012

The 2012 Lion's Clarenville Santa Claus Parade


It was a beautiful pre-winter morning, perfect for the 48th running of the Lion's Clarenville Santa Claus Parade.

This parade has grown with the town, this year's featuring almost 50 floats/vehicles.  The work and dedication that goes into the Parade each year is clearly demonstrated as the parade rolls by.   Most importantly, I am always impressed with the number of people who are actually in the parade!  The Clarenville Volunteer Fire Department,  Nancy Stanford's Dance Studio, Newfoundland Power, the Salvation Army are just a few examples.  They seem to have every member of thier respective organization's there - that is fantastic to see and it speaks so highly of their dedication to the event.

The members that make up the Clarenville Lion's Club, have done an outstanding job at growing the quality of the annual event.  For almost 50 years they have been the ones who have organized it and it speaks to their dedication to the community. Finally, the Triple Bay Eagles do outstanding job at keeping everyone safe!  Kudo's to you all!

Here's this year's Parade Video...see for yourself

Click here to see past year's parades
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dec. 6 - A Day of Remembrance

Over 60 students and staff at Clarenville campus attended the Day of Remembrance event
Thursday, December 6, marks the 23rd anniversary of the Montreal Massacre in which Marc Lepine walked through l’Ecole Poyltechnique in Montreal , separated the men from the women, and then proceeded to shoot and kill 14 women while making anti-woman statements. 

A new generation of students now attend postsecondary schools like Clarenville Campus all over the world.  These commerations ensure we will never forget this tragic event and others like it - many of which happen closer to home..







Clarenville Co-op Gas Bar Targeting Seniors

While at the Clarenville Co-op Gas Bar on Shoal Habour Drive this evening, I noticed this sign.



It's easy for businesses to say they cater to seniors. This is a great example of a local business really trying to provide excellent service to a particular age group. It will be interesting to watch this unfold to see if seniors will take advantage of it.