Joe Reid is getting frustrated with dealing with the Department of Transportation and Works, and on Saturday he looked to member communities of the Great Humber Joint Council to find out what their experience has been.
“We’ve been experiencing a lot of problems with Transportation and Works over the last four or five years with snowclearing, summer maintenance, ditches not being cleared and culverts clogged, and this results in a lot of flooding,” said Reid, the mayor of Norris Point, at the joint council’s meeting at Corner Brook City Hall.
“And we’re not getting any headway with the Department of Transportation,” said Reid. “So, what we would like to know is are there other communities within this group that are experiencing the same problems?”
What he found out is that his complaint is one shared by many communities.
“I don’t think this is an isolated incident,” said Mount Moriah councillor Joe Park, as members chimed in on their problems and issues.
“Here in Mount Moriah we’ve got lots of problems too, snowclearing, and ditches, and water running off the side of the mountain and guide rails being piled up with dirt and knocked over.”
Park recommended Reid find out who the manager around his area and to “keep on keeping on.”
After the meeting Reid said there has been no summer maintenance done on roads in Norris Point in almost four years and that’s resulted in clogged ditches and culverts.
“Because of this when we have large amounts of rain the water is just running freely over the roads, destroying the shoulders, running into peoples’ basements.”
In January, he said, 12 residents of the town had their basements flooded.
“It’s all because of the fact that the water has nowhere to run.”
Reid said every time the town contacts the department it gets the same answer — that it will be put on their list.
“The list must be getting quite long,” he said.
Besides raising the issue at the joint council meeting, Reid has also been contacting communities from Trout River to Cow Head to find out if they are having the same trouble.
“Each town that I’ve contacted have expressed concern about the fact that there’s nothing being done and when they make a presentation or talk to somebody in the department they’re getting the same response as we’re getting,” he said.
Reid hopes to meet with those communities soon to discuss the problems and to make a group presentation to the department.
“It’s frustrating sometimes because the people expect things to happen and when you can’t get commitments and funding from provincial departments it’s frustrating to go back to the people and say ‘look we’re trying, but we’ve got roadblocks everywhere that we moved.’”
Meanwhile, it was suggested during the meeting that the joint council write the minister and the department to lobby for towns’ concerns to be addressed. The joint council will also be looking at getting a representative of the department to speak at a future meeting.