There is a great look-out on the Shoal Harbour trail and seven years ago I was involved in helping get interpretive signage put on this lookout. I was dismayed last week when I saw one of the signboards vandalized. Since then vandals have done their utmost to destroy the works. All four poster boards and their mounts have now been damaged. They will have to be redone at considerable expense to taxpayers.
This was raised in Council and they agreed to issue a $500 reward for information leading to a conviction of the culprits. Further Council will look at installing cameras on these problem areas.
NEW PAVEMENT for NEW ROAD
Owing to it's poor initial quality, the pavement that was put down on Harbour Drive between Shoal Harbour River Bridge and the Shoal Harbour/Balbo intersection in 2010 will be redone within the next month. Although the terms of the agreement to redo the road were not revealed in the meeting, it was implied that the contractor will be doing this work at no cost to the Town. So then, I would ask, what is being done to ensure that we do not have a repeat of this? As taxpayers I am sure that there are other roads that may not have been on spec - I'd want to see efforts made to ensure that we do not have to pay for these mistakes.
Additionally Cormack, Alexander, and Forest road will receive new pavement - approx investment $2.5m
BARE MOUNTAIN PLAN AMENDMENT
I have noted here previously that the number of amendments to our relatively new Municipal Plan are getting out of hand. Well, Council now seems to agree.
The proposed rezoning of a piece of land on Bare Mountain was rejected by Council, despite the Commissioners recommendation that it be allowed to proceed.
Considering the number of amendment proposals, I sometimes wonder if the real development vision in Clarenville is being driven by developers and their financial interests rather than being formed by our elected peers whose job it is to look after the community's best interest. This latest decision is a positive sign in favour of people over profits.
PAVEMENT vs CONCRETE SIDEWALKS
In another carry over from last year there was a welcome decision to put in a sidewalk on upper Shoal Harbour Drive. The decision was held up for what seems like forever because of indecision over the type of sidewalk to put down - pavement or concrete. Hopefully the concrete will be poured in a timely manner. The next stage needs to be a hard path to lower Shoal Harbour Drive. Again, it would have been advantageous to build that feature into the development and have the developers pay the cost - we will now bare the cost.
If you have not noticed there is a new Tim Horton's restaurant being built on the Eastern TCH entrance to Clarenville. So now the challenge of safely finding the entrance to Clarenville amongst the various establishments that have been allowed to pop up there will get even more tricky.
This issue came up for some discussion at Council as well. Unfortunately these questions are being raised after the approvals and the building. A similar problem will emerge with the new PARKVIEW subdivision on Shoal Harbour Drive. One of its entrances is dangerously close to the sharp downhill turn in the road and is presenting another accident waiting to happen. This points to a crying need for better analysis of decisions and approvals than we currently have.
ELIZABETH SWAN PARK MAKEOVER
Council is ready to issue tenders for the construction of a new facility in Elizabeth Swan Park. This is partially the result of our 2013 Kraft Celebration tour win, and the help pf Federal (ACOA) and Provincial governments. This will be a great addition to our town.