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Port aux Basques council discuss hefty fines for ATV riders on Grand Bay West Beach

Efforts to protect the endangered piping plover were amongst the matters discussed by the Port aux Basques Town Council on Tuesday, Aug. 8. - photo courtesy of Nelson Bragg
Efforts to protect the endangered piping plover were amongst the matters discussed by the Port aux Basques Town Council on Tuesday, Aug. 8. - photo courtesy of Nelson Bragg - Contributed

The town's rezoning progress and pending waste management roll out also on this month’s council agenda.

The Port aux Basques Town Council met for its monthly summer meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Following are some details from the meeting:

Industrial Park cleanup

Mayor John Spencer reported that at least one business along the Grand Bay West Road industrial park area has taken a proactive approach when it comes to cleaning up their property.

Now that businesses in need of cleanup have been identified, council has sent out letters asking them to comply, along with a copy of the regulations.

The town wants to see unsightly lots and scrapyards hidden behind tall wooden fencing.

Spencer reported that one resident asked that a specific lot be ordered to comply, only to learn that it was in fact residents storing large items on town property. The mayor stated that the town must ensure its properties are cleaned up also, and asked that the owners of larger items, such as a burnt boat next to the fish plant, be contacted to see about getting it removed.

“It’s an ongoing battle,” said Spencer.

No ATVs allowed on Grand Bay West beaches

It is prohibited to ride ATVs on any of the Grand Bay West beaches as a couple of residents were recently reminded.

Melvin Keeping informed his fellow councillors that a pair of ATV motorists riding on Second Beach were handed a hefty fine even though they weren’t near the endangered piping plover nesting areas or harassing the small shorebirds. Enforcement officers were waiting once the pair finished their quick ride.

“Believe you me, if you knew the fine they got…,” warned Keeping.

Town rezoning concerns

Council received a letter from a resident worried about the town rezoning near the environmentally protected area (EPA) of Grand Bay West Road industrial park.

Town manager Leon MacIsaac says that during rezoning, EPAs are not usually altered but noted that the rezoning is a lengthy process which is still in the very early stages. The project is expected to last until at least next spring, but a copy of the letter outlining the concerns has been sent to the planner for consideration.

Charles Street bus shelter

The property owner has indicated he will speak to MacIsaac about erecting a shelter for Charles Street children, but has not yet found the time. It’s council’s wish to see the shelter erected before school begins again in September.

Waste management

Barring any unexpected delays, the Southwest Coast transfer station is scheduled to come online on Monday, Sept. 17.

Keeping reported that despite four companies showing interest, no bids were received for the curbside collection tender, which surprised council. A follow up with the companies revealed that they thought the fees were too high, that they disliked the bid bonding, and there were no specific requirements for the age of the company vehicles.

A revised tender was issued on Aug. 9 and will remain open for a total of two weeks.

The contract for the operation of the waste management site has been awarded to Edward Collins Contracting Ltd. The company was one of only two bidders.

Once the current landfill site officially closes for waste intake, council must take steps to ensure there is no illegal dumping. Some suggestions discussed included blocking the gate, removing the access road altogether, or even installing security cameras.

By Sept. 7 all residents should receive information kits in the mail along with a blue and clear bag. Extra kits should be available at the town office in case a home does not receive a kit.

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