By Mark Squibb/December 2, 2021
It looks like the Eastern Regional Services Board won’t play ball with Bay Roberts when it comes to sharing contact information for people who owe the town money.
Council voted last meeting to contact both the ERSB and the Port de Grave Harbour Authority for a list of their customers after it was revealed only 72 percent of residents in Bareneed and Port de Grave have paid their annual fire protection fees.
The town has no way of knowing how many homes are in the area, and it was believed by council that, should both organizations provide the customer lists, the town would be able to bill residents directly.
Black said public works director Sean Elms was in contact with the Harbour Authority to compile a list of boat owners.
“Eastern Regional Services Board, at this point in time, they have given us an indication that they will not provide us with a list of houses that they have in the area,” said Black, who suggested council discuss the issue with MHA Pam Parsons and also write the service board.
Mayor Walter Yetman noted he had reached out to Parsons that day but was unable to get her.
Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour asked if the board gave a reason as to why it won’t provide the information.
“Not a formal reason, no,” said Black. “But generally speaking, we’re not a customer of theirs, so they would provide that if we were using their services. But, we’re not, so they’re not.”
Councilor Silas Badcock said that made sense.
Seymour asked whether the town could seek the information through the provincial access to information Act.
Councilor Dean Franey asked whether Robin Hood Bay, the landfill where the town’s garbage ends up, is managed by the ESRB or the City of St. Johns, because if the board manages the landfill, that would in a roundabout way make the town a customer.
As far as Black knew, the City manages the landfill, though the board sets the tipping fees.
Black then clarified that the request from the director was to a staff member, so that the follow up request “may have to go to a higher level.”
Seymour closed the discussion by saying that, as council wants a system in place for 2022, whichever avenue council pursues, they need to do it quickly.