Mayor of Upper Island Cove
Greetings Citizens of Upper Island Cove
A new slate of Councilors was sworn into office on September 27th, 2017 and has begun the exciting and rewarding work of municipal governance. Our town has seen many changes over the years. I would like to congratulate four returning Councilors and the two new Councilors, all of whom were acclaimed.
As a result of the sound fiscal management by previous Councils, led by Mayor Adams, our Town is in a good financial position. We were able to pay off the loan on which the Town had been paying monthly instalments for many years. Our Town is now debt-free and our general revenue account is in a surplus position.
In the previous term of Council, we were pleased to have been able to reduce our property tax rate to 5.6, a level that is among the lowest of any towns in Conception Bay North. Budget preparation work is currently underway and a preliminary assessment of our finances indicates that tax rates will remain unchanged for 2018.
We were able to complete re-paving of numerous streets and roads throughout the town – paved streets include: Mercer’s Lane, Meadow Road, Noel’s Road, Green Road, Spoon Cove Road, Newtown Road, Oil Road, Dorset Street, Ringwood Crescent and Pinch Road.
Over the past four years Council was able to acquire funding to install lights in the ball field, as well as funding for repairs and upgrades to the town’s buildings – the town hall/town garages/fire department and the Recreation Center. A partnership between the Town and the School has resulted in the development of a playground at the old playground site on Pinch Road.
Near the end of the previous term, Council, along with the Fire Department saw our lobbying efforts for a new Emergency Van come to fruition with the announcement by Minister Joyce that funding had been approved on an 80/20 cost share basis. The $280,000 vehicle will require a contribution from the town of approximately $56,000 which can be paid from our general revenue account and will not impact our 2018 budget.
Council has been proactive in managing the town’s infrastructure, and has been including a line item in our budget for addressing side streets, particularly where multiple water leaks have occurred. On such streets we have had our town workers dig up older decrepit and problematic copper water lines and replace them with newer lines that will not be prone to leaks. Such streets were subsequently re-paved. Our 2018 budget will address additional streets for infrastructure upgrade.
Earlier this year we applied for capital works funding for several projects. Unfortunately, we were recently notified that our town’s request was denied. He reason given was that no provincial government funds were available. We will continue to seek out project-specific funding wherever and whenever available.
Our town is a great place to live. Council works hard to maintain our existing services and we endeavour to bring new facilities to our town that would be beneficial to our residents. The participation and commitment of the dozens of volunteers is crucial and our appreciation cannot be overstated. The volunteers at the PRA, Fire Department and the Firettes provide, in addition to fundraising support for the enhanced operation of our recreation facilities and our fire department.
I would like, at this time to bring to your attention a couple of issues which residents have brought to us. First of all we have had numerous notifications of excessive speed on town streets by both on-street and off-road vehicles – quads and dirt bikes. The residents who have expressed concern for the safety of both the operators of speeding vehicles and pedestrian traffic in our town are seeking to prevent a tragedy. Excessive speed is a concern from Council as well
The maximum speed for vehicular traffic on town streets is 50 km/h unless otherwise posted. Our streets that are narrower, particularly in the older part of town, common sense should prevail and speed should be reduced accordingly. Council reminds residents that under the Highway Traffic Act, off-road quads and dirt bikes are not permitted on town streets. Parents of children operating such vehicles may be held accountable in the event of an accident.
I would like to remind residents that our winter snow-clearing Regulations came into effect on December 1st. For safety of our town operators and for efficient snow-clearing vehicles are not permitted to be parked on the roadways in the town. Any vehicle obstructing snow-cleaning may be ticketed by the RCMP.
In the New Year, on behalf of myself, Council members and Staff, I would like to extend warm wishes for a happy, safe and memorable 2018. It is always important to be mindful of the less fortunate and to extend a helping hand, especially to seniors, disabled or sick/injured members of our community. Have a wonderful 2018.