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Rattly catch basin cover catches Bay Roberts driver unaware

By Craig Westcott

Bay Roberts council will ask the Town’s insurer to take care of damage that a resident says he sustained to his vehicle.

Reading from a report in last week’s council agenda, Mayor Walter Yetman noted the resident was driving near the Bay Roberts Post Office and drove over a manhole cover that flipped up and damaged the rear bumper of the car.

“We’re very familiar with the catch basin, because over the years there has been a big build up of water there and the cover has multiple holes in it,” said Yetman. “It’s a square cover. So, this person backed over the unsecured catch basin cover in the parking lot. It’s our infrastructure. The catch basin flipped up and contacted the rear bumper of the vehicle causing damage. That cover there, I know people have run over it before and it is pretty loose and rattly at times… It acts as a drain, but one question that needs to come up there is, is that actually the right cover for that catch basin? And is it secured properly.”

Yetman asked if council wanted to send the issue to a private committee-of-the whole meeting for further discussion.

Chief Administrative Officer Nigel Black suggested instead that council forward the complaint to the Town’s insurance company.

“The estimate (of the damages) is three times what our deductible would be,” said Black. 

Councillor Perry Bowering agreed with that idea. “And would this person have to get three (repair) quotes?” he asked.

“Probably they would,” said Black. “But that would be something the insurance (company) would require.”

Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour said he agreed with Black’s suggestion too.

“There are two issues there,” Seymour said. “It’s our infrastructure and it obviously caused the damage. The issue with this is that the plate is just laid there, it’s not secured by anything. I don’t know if there are any more catch basins around town that have that (situation). If there is, maybe we should have Public Works check them all and make sure they are secured.”

Seymour said when he was contacted by the car’s owner, his advice was to put it in writing for council.

“They said a truck or something left before them and nudged it apparently, and they backed out and didn’t notice it was hanging and up it came,” he added. “So, the problem was it wasn’t secured. So again, Public Works should probably check on all these and make sure they’re secured.”

Councillor Dean Franey said there used to be a manhole with a similar cover on Central Street, just past Green’s Road. “I know that a resident there said before that when a vehicle ran over it, it was like a gun going off,” he said. “I think that one did get secured, but that’s doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the proper cover.”

Mayor Yetman then called for a motion to start the process with the Town’s insurance company and to get Public Works staff to start checking other catch basin covers.

Franey made the motion to do just that. It was seconded by councillor Silas Badcock and passed unanimously.

Meanwhile, a second claim of damage sent to the Town, this one for damage to a lawn during snow clearing operations, will be dealt with later this spring.

“The claim is that Town equipment went onto the property and three or four feet of the corner of his lawn (was damaged),” said Yetman, citing correspondence from the resident. The address wasn’t specified. “Our operator went back and took responsibility.”

The resident asked council for an estimated timeline as to when the lawn will be repaired.

Deputy Mayor Seymour said the matter can be dealt with at the committee of the whole anytime between now and spring.

“The individual called me the day after it happened and I went out and took a look,” Seymour said. “There was a fairly big chunk taken off the corner of the lawn. But it’s not time sensitive so there’s no reason we can’t send it to the committee and address it in the spring… That way it goes on the ‘Action List.'”

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