What Odds at City Hall: 24 October 2022

Council awarded plenty of tenders, SurrealEstate got another road closure for filming and the Council approved its insurance policy.
St. John's City Hall on New Gower Street.
St. John’s City Hall. Photo by Elizabeth Whitten.

Cllrs Debbie Hanlon, Ophelia Ravencroft and Ian Froude were absent today.

At the start, Mayor Danny Breen proclaimed this week as Canadian Down Syndrome Week.

He read out: “Whereas Canada has a diverse and dynamic population, rich in strengths, resources and abilities; and whereas the successful and productive future of all Canadians is intimately linked to our commitment to ensure that all of our citizens have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

“And whereas fellow Canadians with Down syndrome, and their families, are members of our communities and are deeply committed to ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to grow, develop and succeed.”

“And whereas Canadian Down Syndrome Week is a week of educational programming directed to ensuring all individuals with Down syndrome live complete and fulfilling lives, with public knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the strengths and contributions of individuals with Down syndrome.”

Then it was on to other items on the agenda.

Council approved Bell Mobility Inc.’s application to build a telecommunications tower located at 2678 TransCanada Highway.

2678 Trans Canada Highway. (Source: City Agenda, 24 October 2022.)

Council also signed off on Vigilant Technical Sales Ltd.’s application for the change and expansion of a non-conforming use at 140 Campbell Avenue to allow an office use and parking relief of three parking spaces. 

The City received one application on this and it was in favour.

140 Campbell Avenue. (Source: City Agenda, 24 October 2022.)

Tender Bender

Weirs Construction Limited—for $323,497 (HST included)—was awarded a contract to increase the accessibility for all residents through the construction of new sidewalks on existing roads where it is most needed.

A substantial bit of the work has to be completed by July 28 of next year, said Cllr Sandy Hickman.

He added this was previously approved by epoll on October 18.

The other bidders were Pyramid Construction Limited ($418,459.70), Modern Paving Limited ($426,202.65), Black Diamond Construction Limited ($441,413.13), Dexter construction company Limited ($601,583.75) and Talon Energy Services Inc ($746,764.77).

Infinity Construction Ltd. secured the contract to repair concrete trip hazards in various locations throughout St. John’s for $124,005 (HST not included). The work must be completed by November 30, said Cllr Hickman.

The other bids came from Modern Paving Limited ($159,025) and Pyramid Construction Limited ($176,575).

Council voted to split a contract in half to provide curb runners and cutting edges; which will be stocked at the City’s Central Stores location.

LSW Wear Parts Ltd will provide curb runners at $26,812.50 (HST excluded) and S&S Supply Ltd will do the cutting edges at $24,460.60 (HST excluded).

Sole bidder Filmtec Corporation—for USD$154,080—will replace existing MEMCOR® S10N membrane modules for Secondary Cell #2 & #3 at the Windsor Lake Water Treatment Plant.

There was no open call because there’s only one supplier.

“Tender bender today,” said Cllr Hickman.

Alltask Excavating Inc. has been tapped for the contract for snow clearing and ice control for the private lanes located throughout St. John’s.

The work has been divided into two sections, with section one valued at $49,680 a year (HST included) section two valued at $19,320 a year (HST included).

Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary said she was pleased to see this come forward, as they’re making efforts to improve and prioritize snow clearing, adding it’s helping improve pedestrian access and accessibility.

SurrealEstate Films On

TV show SurrealEstate was back before Council looking for additional road closures and a noise by-law extension.

They got a road closure and noise by-law extension two weeks ago at a council meeting for filing from October 24 to 28 at Trainor Place.

SurrealEstate production has now gotten a noise by-law extension for filming until 3:00 am on October 27 and 28 around Trainor Place. Residents don’t need to be worried over loud dialogue, car chases or explosions after 11 pm. Residents will also be notified in writing, said Cllr Jill Bruce.

On October 27 between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, St. Joseph’s Lane will be closed, and Forest Road between Factory Lane and Empire Avenue will be closed between 6:00 pm – 12:00 am (though local traffic and emergency vehicles will be granted access). 

Closures on St. Joseph’s Lane. (Source: City Agenda, 24 October 2022.)
Closures on Forest Road. (Source: City Agenda, 24 October 2022.)

As well, on November 1 between 12:30 pm – 12:30 am, Circular Road between Rennies Mill Road and Carpasian Road will be closed.

Closures on Circular Road. (Source: City Agenda, 24 October 2022.)

Insurance Policy Gets Renewed (with Creeping Cost)

Council unanimously approved the renewal of the Insurance Policy and payment of premiums and broker fee for 2022-2023 as negotiated by AON, the City’s insurance broker. 

The City’s insurance policies expire at the end of the month, said Cllr Ron Ellsworth.

He said last year’s total premium was $2,199,898 and the proposed premium this year is $2,328,517.

The Go Round

Deputy Mayor O’Leary reminded us all that Halloween is just around the corner and again touted the annual Pumpkin Walk taking place on November 1 at Bannerman Park. People can drop off their pumpkin in the morning and the event takes place in the evening at 5:30 pm, with the first hour being sensory friendly.

She also said the past week has been busy with events and conferences; there was Econext, which was focused on ways to transition to green energy. As well, the Genesis Centre celebrated 25 years. This past weekend was also the 33rd St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.

Cllr Maggie Burton wished those celebrating in the community a Happy Diwali.

Cllr Ellsworth wanted to bring attention to the news that cancer coverage for our firefighters, both paid and volunteer, is set to expand. It will include eight more presumptive cancers plus cardiac care 24 hours after a firefighter event. (Side note: this will still need to go through the House of Assembly and get legislative amendments to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act.)

Cllr Bruce said there was another accident at Major’s Path and Portugal Cove Road and it seems like it’s a regular occurrence. She asked Deputy City Manager of Planning, Engineering & Regulatory Services Jason Sinyard if there are any plans to do some work at this intersection?

Mr. Sinyard replied that staff are looking at the alignment and signaling at this intersection and it seems like the accidents are all conflicts with straight through traffic on Portugal Cove Road and those turning left. One of the options they’ll explore is a protected left arrow. However, they need to do analysis.

Cllr Jamie Korab said the Mews Centre’s swimming pool, steam and sauna will be closed until October 27 and an update will be given that day at noon.

He also spoke about the newly opened pump track down by Quidi Vidi Lake. From the photos it looks like “it was on wheels” on its opening day. He said it’s a great addition to St. John’s and maybe they can get one for the west end?

Cllr Carl Ridgeley said he also drives by the pump track and sees plenty of adults and kids having fun. He added that before the project was before council he had never heard of a pump track and agrees with Cllr Korab that they need more of them around the City and has reached out to Cllr Froude, who helped lead the project.

Finally, he wanted to give an update to the residents of Ward Five and the City that he has not heard back from the Province on possible aid after the destruction of Hurricane Earle.

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