Carbonear awards contracts for new Town Plan and Rec Master Plan

By Craig Westcott/September 16, 2022

Carbonear council has approved a tender call for the next phase of the rehabilitation of Water Street, though the actual tender documents are not quite complete as the Town is awaiting the final drawings from engineers for the electrical works.

Council decided to move ahead with the tender on Tuesday after receiving approval for the project from the provincial Department of Transportation, and after chief administrative officer Cynthia Davis reported that no major changes to the project have been suggested during consultations with business owners and other people with property on the street. Davis said as soon as the electrical drawings are in, the consultant overlooking the project can proceed with the call for bids.

In other council news:

Requests for building permits for new houses is up so far this year compared to last year.

“We are up to seven new housing applications to date,” said councillor Dannielle Doyle. “So, it’s up a bit from the last couple of years of Covid and high building prices. Hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come. There are two home applications on this permit listing for this (two week) period alone.”

Wood Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions Canada has won the tender to supply engineering services for sewer and street upgrades on a section of Valley Road and Water Street. Carbonear will pay Wood Environmental $113,756 to act as the prime consultant on the project.

Both Mayor Frank Butt and councillor Ray Noel left the chamber before the vote to avoid any potential conflict of interest as they both happen to have siblings living in areas where the next phase of construction will take place.

Council approved two orders affecting properties in town. Deputy Mayor Sam Slade, who chairs the public works committee, made a motion to send a cleanup notice to the owner of 4 Kelby Corners, and an order to the owner of 32 Valley Road to demolish a shed on that property. Slade noted the orders stem from recommendations made by the Town’s municipal enforcement officer.

Council’s recreation committee and Town staff will be busy over the coming days planning a Fall Harvest Festival.

“From October 1st to November 1st, it’s going to be a big thing for us,” said recreation committee chairman Malcolm Seymour. “We’re going to try to get it off the ground, and if we do, I think it’s going to be a big thing for Carbonear.”

CAO Davis said part of the work of getting ready for the festival will be some $2,850 worth of electrical upgrades in the area of the Pergola. The costs will be covered by the $74,000 the Town is receiving from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to help with the costs of putting on the festival.

Tract Consulting has won the Request for Proposals to craft Carbonear’s new Recreation Master Plan. The company will be paid $42,785 plus HST for the work.

The awarding of the contract sparked councillor Doyle to question Seymour about a remark he had made earlier during his recreation committee report. Seymour indicated the committee was discussing the installation of a playground picture wall for children who have trouble communicating verbally.

Doyle suggested that decision should await the preparation of the master plan.

“While I understand the nice idea behind it,” Doyle said, “if we’re having a master review of recreation and we’re looking at an inclusive playground and all the rest of it, I think it would be jumping the gun to have something like that right off the bat. In addition to that, a lot, but not all, children who are non-verbal are using assisted tech devices and carry personal picture communication devices. So, while I understand the gesture – I think it’s wonderful – I think it’s jumping the gun to include it when hopefully someday in the very near future we will have an inclusive playground and maybe that could be part of an inclusive playground.”

Seymour replied the committee looked at the idea, because it was something that had been requested by others. 

“As we go through it, yes that can be added to the master plan,” Seymour allowed.  

A new municipal plan will soon be in the works to guide Carbonear’s future development.

Councillor Doyle noted the current plan is over 20 years old and the new plan will provide an opportunity to catch up in terms of regulations, practices and provincial policy.

Upland Planning and Design Incorporated won the Request for Proposals to complete the new plan at a cost of $77,610 plus HST.

“I don’t know how long it will take, but at least it’s awarded,” Doyle said.

The owner of a property on Southside Lower Road won’t be able to go ahead with plans to build a greenhouse. At least not yet.

“The issue is there’s no clear ownership of the land on which it’s being placed,” Councillor Doyle explained. “If they come up with a survey to show the land is theirs, they can of course go ahead with the greenhouse. But right now, it’s on a piece of land that they are not the identified owner.”

Public Works staff have asked four contractors to submit prices on the demolition of 47 Water Street.

The building was destroyed by fire earlier this year, but when the Town called a tender for its demolition, nobody responded. “So, we’ve moved on to the next step in the procurement process, which is to invite contractors who might be interested,” Public Works director Ian Farrell told council. “We’ve also called tenders to replace the wheelchair lift at the (Sheila NaGeira) Theatre. The one bidder came in high over budget, so we’re trying to get additional funding for that, so we can move it forward.”

Farrell’s departmental update included word the 2022 paving program is finally about to start. “We had a consultant kick off a meeting last week,” said the director. “Preliminary engineering is scheduled to start on Friday of this week and we’re hoping to call for tenders this year within the next few weeks. It shouldn’t take too long to get the drawings pulled together. But of course, that’s weather dependent.”

And in the CAO’s report, all Town departments are operating within budget.

CAO Davis presented council with the latest numbers up to the end of July along with a detailed breakdown of how the Town’s money is being spent.

“There’s no concerns there at this time,” Davis said.

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