The following is a synopsis version of the Feb. 8 meeting of Gander council. Mayor Claude Elliott wasn’t in attendance and Deputy Mayor Cyril Abbott chaired the meeting:
Wood harvest plan
Gander received an application from the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods requesting the approval of a five-year plan for commercial domestic harvesting. The plan identifies domestic and commercial operations within municipal boundaries for the next five years.
Council was in agreement.
The Pentecostal church’s request for the town to sell a parcel of land measuring approximately one acre, behind 110 Magee Road, has been approved.
The land will be used to construct an accessory storage building to operate a furniture redistribution service.
The church also asked the town grant the land because of the proposed use.
It was noted by council the land was given to the town by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housng Corporation (NLHC), with the understanding the NLHC would receive half of the appraised value of the land when sold.
The town can waive its share - approximately $6,300 – but cannot waive the NLHC share.
The motion for the town to waive its portion of the proceeds from the land sale passed 4-2.
Councillors Brian Dove and Gerry Parrott voted against the motion on the basis that it’s taking money away from the taxpayers. NLHC didn’t agree to waive it’s portion and goes against current policy.
Come From Away invoice
The town has received an invoice from Kiss the Cod Broadway Limited Partnership in the amount of $53,410.51 U.S.
The invoice is for certain costs associated with the Come From Away production in Gander last October. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has agreed to reimburse the town for costs incurred.
Correspondence was received from a resident on 16 Baldwin Street about ongoing water pooling at the end of their driveway. The Public Works committee recommended Public Works determine the probable cause and recommend a solution. In addition, to contact the engineering department to determine if any planned maintenance is scheduled in the area. If so, it is recommended to incorporate repairs at this time.
A homeowner on 9 Memorial Drive had their request to be reimbursed for the replacement of asphalt removed during the reconstruction of the street denied.
The work in question was covered under the cost shared capital works project, which the town had entered into a contract with a local construction company.
The homeowner engaged another contractor to repave the driveway including the portion covered by the town’s contract.
Under this circumstance, the town could not avail of the cost-sharing agreement with the province, and the public works committee is not in agreement of repayment.
Smoke detector regulations
Fire Chief Paul Fudge brought forward changes to the Fire Detector regulations. The regulation now requires all sleeping quarters to have a smoke detector in all sleeping quarters.
The town’s annual cleanup is scheduled from May 8-19. Refuse for the special cleanup will be collected on the same day as the scheduled garbage day for each area.
After receiving a request for Gander to have a town crier, town staff was asked to look into how much such a program would cost.
After consulting with another municipality with a town crier program in place, it was determined start up costs would be in the range of $20,000.
This would cover the cost of advertising, giveaways, town crier costume and annual stipend.
Moving forward, the annual budget to maintain a crier would cost approximately $7,000.
While the town believes in the concept of a crier, it decided against moving forward with the possibility as it’s an unbudgeted item. Furthermore, the town is currently engaged in the process of defining its role in the tourism sector and committing resources at this time would be premature.
The trail leading to the dog park at Cobb’s Pond will now be called Laika’s Lane. The town approved the nomination to rename the trail in honour of the soviet space dog, which became the first living creature to orbit the earth in 1957.