Friday, November 25, 2011

Traffic Lights On Bauline Line Not Working This Morning

As I stopped at the red light this morning on the Bauline Line I was informed by John Martin who is still out there with his sign protesting that the lights were not changing. I made a call to report it and hopefully it is not something that will be a common occurrence.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finally The By-Pass Road Is Opening Today

I was just talking to one of the people taking the coverings off the road signs and she confirmed that it is indeed opening today.

I wonder how long it will be open before the first accident?

I am betting that it will be before the end of the week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Community Center In The Works?

I have been asking questions about this now for a couple of weeks and this is what I have found out combined with what I read in the Northeast Avalon Times today.

In 2009 the Town of Torbay adopted its recreation master plan. Since then the town has been moving forward with the implementation of that plan which includes a key component being a new Town Center. This town centre will house a new community center as well as a museum and public library and will be located on the parcel of land behind the current Town offices.

Within the community centre it is proposed that it will include a gym, multi-purpose rooms and a swimming pool. There will also be a reception area with visitor centre providing people with source of information related to the town and the general area. This will tie in with the fact that we are the gateway to the Killick Coast Touring route and highlight the East Coast Trail.

As indicated in a story in the Northeast Avalon Times there are also plans to have an outdoor skating rink in the winter. All I have to say to that is GOOD LUCK! I have some experience working on outdoor rinks both here in Torbay and in a more rink friendly environment in Ottawa. The amount of work involved in maintaining a rink like that is huge and volunteers are key. I don’t want to be paying Town employees to maintain an outdoor rink. I will gladly offer my services to help with that type of community project if it ever gets off the ground.

This past year the town conducted a feasibility study to examine the operating cost of this new facility. As part of that study there was a regional phone survey conducted to examine the catchment area in relation to swimming pools in the St John’s / Mount Pearl and the new Y on Ridge Road. Based on that study it has been determined that the pool is feasible on a regional approach. The reason for this is because the regulation with regards to population for a swimming pool is 10,000 people. Obviously Torbay doesn’t have a large enough population so a regional approach is mandatory in this endeavor.

The Torbay Council passed a motion on July 25, 2011 to proceed with the funding application and to seek letters of support from various interests. Before the submission of the application final approval must be given by council and that must have happened recently because a request has been sent to government for capital funding. Basically what that means in my view is that enough of the surrounding towns need to offer support for the project and I have no idea if that support has been requested. I do know that Mr. Parsons has not received a request for a letter of support and has no knowledge if the other towns have been contacted as confirmed by him this morning

As reported in the Times a request has been sent to Government for $16,000,000 under the 80/20 Multi-year Capital Works provincial program where by the town would pay 20% and the government the rest. I am not sure if the Town requested this money separately or as part of a larger infrastructure spending request. According to the MHA there is a proposal before government for a total of $25,000,000 in infrastructure spending with a wide range of projects included.

After speaking to the MHA for the district I got the impression that he is concerned that the town can’t seem to nail down its priorities. This is not the first time I have heard this opinion of Torbay Council and it seems to be a view that is widely held by many residents I speak to. They feel that council is all over the place with regards to what they want to accomplish and if you ask each councilor what the towns main priority is you would probably get several different answers. One might say a Town Centre, another will say sidewalks, and others may chime in on water and sewer. The advantage to having well defined priorities is that it would enable Mr. Parsons to work with council to have a more focused approach and a better chance to achieve common goals when requesting government funding. With this in mind however Councilor Tapper did state in the Times that is a priority, my question to that would be is this A priority or THE priority right now?

In the weeks ahead the Town of Torbay will be conducting their strategic planning sessions and hopefully coming up with a plan to move forward. This would be a great opportunity for the town to get it’s priorities straight and then deliver them to the people of the town. I look forward to hearing the results of those sessions and seeing the vision that council has for the future of our town, it certainly has every opportunity to be bright.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Torbay Pass-By Road Still Not Open

Yes I said Pass-By because that is what we have been doing to this road for the past few years. I was pretty confident that this road would have been opened this morning but I guess the fact that it has been raining prevented the contractor from putting the rest of the paint on it. God knows that all the dry weather we had so far in November wasn't enough time to pint a few lines.

One thing that I have noted though is how people are stopping or at least slowing at the red flashing lights on Bauline Line. I would say that it is a pretty smart move considering all the vehicles that have been using that road over the past few months.

I was pretty disappointed to learn that the remainder of Torbay Road won't be completed this year and we will all have to endure that washboard effect that Weirs has left us with. I was also surprised to hear that it will actually be Farrell's who will ultimately be finishing that portion of the road as well. One thing that we can say is that the pavement that Farrell's has done to this point seems to be well laid. Certainly a contrast from what the other contractor left us with between the by-pass road and the old airport road.

I am certainly not optimistic that Bauline Line will be paved this year either and that is especially disappointing to me as this is a road I use every day. The stretch of pavement between the Kinsmen Centre and Buckley's Hill is nothing less that brutal. After the coming winter I suspect that it will only get worse and before long the potholes will reveal themselves.

You know it is nice to see all the infrastructure money getting spent in our area by the provincial government but I just wish that someone would hold these contractors to account for the delays and time overruns. Why must the people be the only ones to suffer for what appears to be foot dragging by the various contractors involved in building that road.