Bay Roberts council won’t pay for damages caused by loose catch basin cover

By Olivia Bradbury / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The subject of who is responsible for paying for the damage to a vehicle caused by a loose catch basin cover was back before Bay Roberts council Tuesday.

The subject was first broached in March, when a resident reported his car had been damaged by the metal cover after he had backed over it earlier this past winter. The incident occurred on the parking lot of Canada Post on Central Street. At that time, council put the matter on hold until it could get instructions from the Town’s insurer.

It turns out, the insurer deemed the Town could not be held liable if it was not aware there was a problem with the catch basin cover. The matter was also discussed by council at a private meeting of the committee of the whole.

At council’s public meeting Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour asked whether the issue of what to do about the loose cover had yet been addressed.
Chief Administrative Officer Nigel Black replied it had not, but was on the Public Works Department’s to do list.

“Now that we’re aware of it, if something happens, we can’t use that excuse again,” said Seymour.

Discussion followed about whether the catch basin should be considered Town property or the property of Canada Post, a matter which seemed unclear given its proximity to a property line. It was suggested it would be hard to ascertain for certain whose property it is on without conducting a survey.

Mayor Walter Yetman suggested that if the catch basin is not working properly, perhaps levelling the parking lot could be an appropriate course of action.
It was also acknowledged that discussing the matter with Canada Post might be necessary.

Another recurring traffic issue was raised at Tuesday’s meeting as well – namely the problem of speeding and the potential solution of slowing down traffic by implementing three and four-way stops at some town intersections.

It was noted that most of the problematic roads are not main highways, but rather residential streets that are straight and long – tempting qualities to would-be speeders.

Mayor Yetman said there is a list of some 16 intersections where three and four-way stops could be implemented. Two were implemented last year, and three more are planned for mid-to late June: a four-way stop at Greens Road and Central Street; a three-way stop at George Mercer Drive and the Klondyke; and a three-way stop at Shearstown Road and Picketts Road.

Councillor Silas Badcock acknowledged the RCMP’s efforts to crack down on speeding, allowing more tickets are being handed out.

Mayor Yetman said that as a municipality, the council is limited in what it can do. “We can’t give out tickets ourselves, and we count on the RCMP for enforcement,” he said.

Council then passed a motion to install the three aforementioned stops.

Another road issue was briefly addressed as well. A reimbursement request was submitted from a resident whose tire was damaged by a pothole on Picketts Road.
This was the second request put forth by the resident, whose vehicle was apparently damaged by two different potholes on two different occasions on the same road.

The recommendation of the committee of the whole was that the request be denied.

Mayor Yetman acknowledged it was an unfortunate incident, but pointed out the Town makes every effort to repair potholes, which are numerous.

“When you look at Bay Roberts, we are really spread out, and we have, what is it, 60 or 70 kilometers of road to maintain?” said Yetman.

The Bay Roberts Royal Canadian Legion had better luck. It requested materials to repair a sinkhole in its parking lot. The request was discussed at the recent meeting of the committee of the whole, which recommended council approve it. A motion to do that also carried.

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