One ‘maybe’ and one soft ‘no’ to snowclearing requests

By Craig Westcott

Bay Roberts council backed off from giving a complete no to two requests for the Town to provide snow clearing on what appear to be private lanes.
Councillor Perry Bowering said according to staff, one lane isn’t wide enough for a plow to service it and the other is wide enough, but branches off into two sections, “so which way do you go with it?”
The first lane is located off Church Hill, the other is Streetwood Place, a tiny lane off Water Street that is not on the Town’s assessment roll.
Both Mayor Walter Yetman and Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour each visited the streets separately to size them up. Both agreed the one off Church Hill “is very narrow.”
“I don’t know how you’d get anything (in the way of heavy equipment) up there,” said Seymour. “After going to Streetwood, I’m looking at that one in a different light. It’s wider. It’s a Town road, because there was a Town sign on it. In the committee of the whole meeting, it was said that it had been cleared in the past. It’s a right of way that ends in two private driveways. There are roads that size that we are doing. I just don’t see any reason why the small rig can’t go up there, back into one (driveway) and then come back out. So, I think we need to look at that one in a different light.”
Mayor Yetman asked for clarification on the street sign. “I don’t think that was put there by us. Does anyone recall anything?” he said.
“I don’t know, it’s been there for years,” said chief administrative officer Nigel Black.
“It was put there before my time,” said Bowering.
“And it was before my time on council, I know that,” added councillor Dean Franey.
“For some reason I’m thinking it was a private individual who did that,” said the mayor. “I’m not sure, so don’t quote me on that.”
Black said the origin of the sign can be investigated.
Franey said when he got the call about the request for snow clearing on the lane, he went up to investigate and talked with the Town’s public works supervisor who indicated that years ago it had been cleared.
“There were some issues with ownership up there, but a lot of the ownership is now changed,” Franey noted.
“The Department of Public Works made site visits and concluded that both lanes do not meet Town bylaws,” said the mayor, quoting a briefing note in his agenda.
He then asked for a motion to deal with the requests.
Black suggested council might want to split the motion to reject the request for Church Hill and send the one for Streetwood Place back to the committee of the whole for further consideration.
“Yes, Streetwood Place deserves probably a look at in the committee,” agreed Yetman. “And I think we were pretty unanimous, or our thoughts are the same on Church Hill.”
Deputy Mayor Seymour moved to send the Streetwood request back to the committee. Franey seconded it and the motion passed unanimously.
Councillor Ross Petten then moved that council not provide snow clearing at the lane on top of Church Hill. Franey seconded that motion too.
“Could it be put to the residents on that lane that if they made it a bit wider and did a bit of work, we could consider it (again) then?” asked Bowering.
Black said the residents can be given a copy of the Town’s specifications for snow clearing.
“That’s a good idea,” said councillor Badcock of Bowering’s suggestion.
“Get it fixed up, like you said, according to the regulations, and we’ll go from there,” said Mayor Yetman, adding it will also need turnaround space for the Town’s heavy equipment.
Put to a vote, Petten’s motion to reject the request for now passed unanimously.
“That said, I hope we’re done with snow clearing for the year,” joked Franey.

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