Thursday, September 23, 2010

Road Improvement and Recreation Levies

At the August 23rd meeting of council there was finally a vote on this motion.

345-10 Motion – Councillor Roche / Councillor Byrne
RESOLVED THAT the $1000.00 levies for road improvement and the $400.00 levies for recreation be applied only to those residential projects approved effective January 1, 2010.

Question called. Motion failed as a 2/3‟s majority is required for a financial matter.
For motion: Mayor Codner, Councillor Byrne, Councillor Roche, and Councillor Whitty.
Against motion: Deputy Mayor Gallant, Councillor Smith, and Councillor Tapper.

This is a pretty sticky issue because it appears that it only effects one or two developers and is basically blindsiding them with extra cost that were not anticipated. There were arguments back and forth on the merits of the motion and in the end the tax happy councillors won out and they decided to make the cash grab. Their argument was that they had included these levies to balance the 2010 budget and used that as justification to gouge an extra $42,000. Which by the way the Mayor had to correct Councillor Smith on a point of order because she had stated that the amount was $98,000 dollars. So here we have a councillor supporting a cash grab from a respected developer to balance a budget in an amount that she was not even sure about.

I wonder were they trying to make up for the extra $70,000 or so they had to spend to do the work over on Torbay Beach cleaning the sewer pipe? Was that in the budget? 

Makes me wonder what kind of people we have running our town when they will go out of their way to penalize a respected developer for a measly $42,000 on a budget over $7,000,000. I am sure this council and others before it have wasted way more money than that on useless projects and screw-ups. I hope this type of backstabbing of developers doesn't have negative consequences on future developments in Torbay but we can be rest assured that in the end it will be the home owner that gets screwed as usual because those extra charges will not likely come from the developers pocket.

Property Assessment Information Session

The Town of Torbay in partnership with the Muncipal Assessment Agency (MAA) will be hosting an information session on the property assessment process. MAA representatives will provide an overview and will be available for questions.

Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Location: Torbay Kinsmen Community Centre, Bauline Line

Note: 2011 assessment notices will be mailed to all landowners during the week of October 4, 2010.


I encourage as many people to go to this session as possible because the way our properties have been assessed and reassessed the ;last couple of years is ridiculous in my opinion. I believe that my home has been reassessed at least 3 times in the last 2 years and my taxes have gone up each and every time. I believe the last time it went up by almost 30%.

I don't know about you but I have very little faith in the assessment process and wonder why I feel I am getting gouged at every turn. To make matters worse I don't think I am getting value for my tax dollars as it relates to town services. Lets face it anyone who lives on a provincial road like Bauline Line and does not have water and sewer are getting screwed by this town.

I have sat back and really given some though to what I receive from the Town of Torbay for my tax dollars, which are considerable by the way, and the lst is not very long. The only service I can think of that I recieve is garbage pickup once a week and fire services if my house ever burns down the Volunteer Fire Department will come over to save my foundation. That is a bit harsh on the fire department but I couldn't help myself, I have a lot of respect for those guys and what they do and I am glad we have such a dedicated group of individuals there to help us when we need it.

  1. My road is plowed by the province.
  2. Bauline Line is maintained and repaired by the province although it doesn't look like anyone is doing it.
  3. I don't have water and sewer and most likely never will
So, really what do we get for our money....I know they will say that I need to travel the roads of Torbay to get to Bauline Line and all that cost money and it is all for the greater good of the town. That argument doesn't fly with me because the people of Flatrock, Pouch Cove and Bauline also have to pass through Torbay to get to their houses and they don't have to pay the Town of Torbay.

Most of what I am saying here is in jest but they are legitimate questions we should be asking when the town asks us to pony up thousands of dollars to put in the town coffers. I would like to know how it is that I should have to pay double the property taxes as another resident in this town that avails of all the services the town has to offer? Why are people who are NOT availing of all town services charged the same mill rate as those who do?

These are the things I would like to know and will be inquiring about when I go to the information session. It is time that people in this town started to speak up about unfair taxation and stop standing by and letting council and the provincial government walk all over us.

I hope to see a lot of people there to voice their displeasure.........if my the way you like the amount of taxes you pay then don't go to the session, instead go to the hospital and get your head examined.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Check Out These Photos From Around The Island

What A Mess!

Anyone who had to get into town today for work certainly had their work cut out for them. I don't think it mattered what way you went there was traffic backups all over the place. I was going to go through Logy Bay but when I got to the end of Indian Meal Line the cars were lined up to there so I went Portugal Cove and the ride from there was great until I got to the start of the traffic lights. There were no lights working and people drive like idiots so they have no idea how a 4-way stop is supposed to work. You were taking you life in your hands just trying to get through an intersection.

To make matters worse when I got to work the building was closed because there was no power. Coming back home wasn't a problem though through Logy Bay so it looks like the initial traffic jams must have cleared up somewhat but there is still lights out and a tangle getting through the intersections. I would imagine there were a lot of people like me this morning too with the schools being closed trying to clamor to get someone to look after the kids or staying home so the traffic was likely a lot less than it could have been.

Hopefully everyone was safe yesterday and didn't have too much damage to their homes, it appears that we were lucky on the North East Avalon compared to come places on the Burin Peninsula and Bonivista area. They had major flooding and many people may lose their homes to water and wind damage. One thing for sure is that houses are built pretty good in Newfoundland compared to places on the mainland because I am sure that if they were faced with the same wind we were that they would most certainly lost their shingles if not their roofs. Judging from the fact that my house never had any issues considering the wind I would say many people have the same result as I do.

Good Luck with your cleanup.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More pictures from Igor

These are just a few pictures I took today between 4:00 and 5:00 while I was out around. Lost my power at around 6:00 and just got it back.

Ditch on Indian Meal Line. It was overflowing across the road and flooded my parents place.

This is a brand new house in that new subdivision off Bridge Road. I am willing to bet that the guy who bought that house is not from Torbay because that river has flooded like that for as long as I can remember and this is right behind my parents house. Good luck buddy

Again I feel bad for this guy.

River on Indian Meal Line behind my parents house.

I took these pictures after the rain stopped so the water was higher.

Hope the Ryan's and the Coady's didn't get flooded out on Lower Street.

Here are a few pictures of Great Pond, looks more like the ocean.
These pictures don't do it justice as to how rough that pond is.

Some pictures from around my house

This wind is certainly taking a toll on my fence and trees. I may be getting some water in my basement too. Igor you bastard!

My Poor old Trees

This was last night, at the start

It bounces back like this when the wind dies down

This is not looking good

Not much holding it now

At least my pool is still standing

Well it looks like I will be needing repairs to my fence

Full blown Hurricane

Looks like Igor is still going to be a full blown hurricane when it passes by our south coast. I don't remember the last time we had a storm that was still a hurricane when it passed, usually they have reduced to tropical storms or depressions by the time they get here. The cold water of the North Atlantic usually sucks the energy out of them but because this hurricane is moving so fast it is not weakening that much.

I hope everyone is taking this serious and battening down the hatches, it would be a shame for someone to get hurt because of this especially considering we had lots of notice. I know it is typical of us Newfoundlanders to sometimes brush these things off as just another storm but this looks like it will be a big one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rough night and day ahead!!

Looks like we are in for a rough night and day with Igor boring down on us. I got this image from the Weather Network and it is going to pass pretty close. I was busy this evening clearing up everything in the yard and tying down what I couldn't move and I suspect that many other people were at the same. I hope everyone is safe and we don't have too much flooding. The school in Torbay has already been closed for tomorrow morning and I guess we will have to wait and see for the afternoon.

I got this from Eastern School District Website

School Closure Announcement - Hurricane Igor

September 20, 2010

As a result of a special weather statement issued by the AMEC weather office at 4 p.m. today regarding the potential impact of Hurricane Igor, the Eastern School District advises that all schools under the jurisdiction of the Eastern School District will be closed for Tuesday morning, September 21, with a further update at 10:30 a.m. regarding the status of afternoon classes.

What a mess on Torbay Road

What a mess on Torbay Road, everyone I have talked to says it is ridiculous and wondering when it is ever going to be finished. Just when it seems it can't get any worse they start doing work on Piperstock Hill. I have not heard one person say that they think it is going to get finished before winter. I can only imagine what it is going to be like the winter when the snow and ice start flying. I have been avoiding the entire mess by taking the Portugal Cove route to and from work but even that has it's ups and downs because of construction and one day last week there was an accident that set me back a half an hour.

Many people I have spoken to say they are taking Marine Drive down through Logy Bay but that is getting more and more congested especially with the schools being open.

All I can say is to have patience and there is no point getting frustrated and blowing a gasket, it is what it is and any anger you have built up should be directed at the contractor, the town council and the provincial government and if you think it will make you feel better the federal government. I am sure Jack Harris will get right on that for you once he is finished sucking up to Jack Layton and voting to keep that stupid long gun registry.

Oh well got on a bit of a rant there about federal politics and the morons up there but what the hell.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Paper and Cardboard Drop-Off at Town Hall

The Town of Torbay is having two recycling events at the town hall for paper and cardboard. I am a little behind the times on the first one as it has already occurred on the 28th of August but there is another on Saturday the 25th of September.

These are worthwhile events to be sure but the overriding issue is that in my opinion there should be curb side recycling program in Torbay. Newfoundlanders in general are the worst recyclers in the country and it is not completely our fault, the main issue is that there is very little curb side recycling in the province. I think that Pouch Cove has just implemented the first curb side program in the region and possibly the province and it appears that it is going very well. I was really impressed when I looked at the list of items they can recycle, it reminded me of when I lived in Ottawa and the recycling program there.

Pouch Cove residents and council should be commended for their efforts because it seems that more people are buying into the program. On July 28th just a couple of months after the program started on May the 5th and around 6 or 7 pickups they collected 2.4 Tons of recyclable materials, three times the amount of their first pickup. This just goes to show that if you provide people with the means to participate in programs like this they will indeed do it.

Why is it that Pouch Cove can implement a program like this and we in Torbay are stuck with a program that makes council feel good about them selves but does nothing to change peoples habits. Most likely before I ever get to the town hall with my cardboard and paper it will be burnt in my barrel in the back yard. It is a sad thing to say but it is the truth and I am sure I am not the only one in the town who burns this stuff. It is time for us to move on recycling in this town.

A Possible Cure For Cancer?

My sister was telling me about this hemp oil and how she had known a guy who got diagnosed with terminal testicular cancer and given 3 months to live. He had other tumors throughout his body and when he started taking this oil all of the tumors and the testicular cancer disappeared. He lived for another year and a half after the diagonosis and eventaully died of a brain tumor as I understand it.

I know things like this are hard to believe but I have been looking at this website and the testimonials and personal experiences left by people this guy has helped and it is amazing. Whether you believe it or not it is certainly worth the read and you may find it interesting, I know I did.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shelley Ballam nee Farewell

I know I am a little late on this one but I really didn't want to say anything until the police finished their investigation. All that aside this is a tragic story with a terrible outcome and I would like to express my condolences to her family and friends. This was a person who was basically the same age as me and had two young children, I hope they get through this OK and God Bless.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Torbay Bypass Road - Public Meeting

Well I was at the meeting last night along with about 80 other people and contrary to what was reported on CBC I didn't think that the Mayor or anyone else for that matter was "ripped into". I admit that people are frustrated with the slow progress and wishing it was done but what I took away from that meeting is that there are a variety of issues that people have and it seems to me that most of them have nothing to do with the slow pace but are more personal to them. That is not to say that we are not angry because Weirs Construction seems to have the take your time and get your stamps attitude towards this project.

People are upset about decisions that were made to cut off Quigley's lane where it is and put an intersection 100 metres to the north of it for future development. They would have liked for it to stay the same but from my understanding there were engineering considerations that had to be made with regards to the access and it couldn't go where the existing Quigley's lane was.

Some resident's in the Reddy Drive area and North Pond Road are concerned about access to traditional wood cutting land as well as the trails for quads and walking. We were told that there is a service road being put there for that purpose however the government looked at a proposal from the town for putting an overpass connecting Reddy Drive to the other side of the by-pass road and deemed it to be too expensive and not justifiable because it led to no where. I don't think the residents were too happy with that answer but it is what it is and no underpass or overpass will go there. I think the vision for the future would have been to connect Reddy Drive up with a road from Forest Landing, at least that is the most logical scenario.

One positive that I heard at the meeting was from the MHA for Cape St. Francis, Kevin Parsons when he advised the Mayor and everyone else that he had received confirmation that morning that traffic lights will be installed at both Indian Meal Line and Bauline Line. That was a major issue for me considering I live on Bauline Line although I am still concerned about the increased traffic I am anticipating. Another point that Kevin made that was pretty obvious to anyone who looks at this project is that this is not a bypass road. He called it an arterial road and that is exactly what it is. If it were a true bypass road there would not be exits all over the place and certainly you wouldn't get on an off in least that is how I see it.

Other issues were discussed as well, one being the desire of the provincial government to hand responsibility of Torbay Road to the town. The Mayor indicated that the Town has sent a cost estimate to the government on what it would entail but from what I was told no real negotiations have gone on between both levels of government. So I guess that is on the back burner for now but we can be rest assured it will come up again.

Another real problem is the state of Bauline Line, Indian Meal Line and Torbay Road between the Bridge and the School. They are in absolutely deplorable condition and these things should be used by the town as a bargaining chip when it comes to discussing who is responsible for Torbay Road. Maybe we can get some pavement in exchange for taking over snow clearing from the province, I think that would be a good deal considering the town snow plow seemingly passes my house in the winter through a foot of snow to go plow a 100 feet of Three Island Pond Road and then drives right back out through the snow on Bauline Line again. If you are going to drive along the road to get to another you may as well plow the damn thing in my opinion.

Anyway all the issues aside it is nice to see people getting out an voicing their opinions and showing some interest in what is going on in our town. It is about time we really started to get interested and let our municipal leaders know what we want and if we are not satisfied we have the hammer when it comes to the next election. Lets hope people stay interested and involved.