What Odds at City Hall: 8 August 2022

A few people are appointed to boards, the Tely 10 gets a new date, and Council votes to ratify a new municipal workers collective agreement.
St. John's City Hall on New Gower Street.
St. John’s City Hall. Photo by Elizabeth Whitten.

Most councillors were present at Monday’s City Council meeting, with Cllr Ron Ellsworth tuning in virtually. Cllrs Maggie Burton and Debbie Hanlon were absent.

Council kicked off by approving the Conservation Corps’ proposed riverbank restoration/rehabilitation located within the floodplain and floodplain buffer of the Waterford River, in the area of 70 Brookfield Road.

The Conservation Corps’ proposed riverbank restoration/rehabilitation on the Waterford River, in the area of 70 Brookfield Road. (Source: City Council Agenda 8 August 2022.).

“The applicant is proposing to use brash (wooden) bundle packing installation on the eroding bank, held in place with the help of natural untreated wooden posts,” said Cllr Jamie Korab.

Deputy mayor Sheilagh O’Leary said she was pleased to support this and wanted to give a shout out to the Conservation Corp for all the work they do with projects like this.

Council then signed off on a discretionary use application from Oceanic Releaf Inc.—directed by Taylor Giovannini—to open a store to sell cannabis and a restaurant/cafe at 63 O’Leary Avenue.

Its hours of operation will be seven days a week, 6am to 11pm, and on-site parking is provided, said Cllr Korab.

63 O’Leary Avenue. (Source: City Council Agenda 8 August 2022.)

Clinic A Go

A child/adolescent psychiatric clinic at 15 Dartmouth Place has gotten the okay to open from Council.

The clinic will be owner-operated and the hours of operation are Monday to Wednesday, from 9am to 1pm. Patients will be seen only by appointment, ranging from 10 minutes to 1 hour, with a buffer time between appointments. On-site parking is also provided, said Cllr Korab.

15 Dartmouth Place. (Source: City Council Agenda 8 August 2022.)

The City received three in favour of this proposal and one against. That sole person was concerned with traffic and parking. However, the application was looked over by the Transportation Engineering division, who had no concerns with the proposed application, he said.

Cllr Ian Froude said while he heard the concerns about traffic, he didn’t think this would pose a big enough impact for him to oppose the proposed clinic.

Council then signed off on relieving three parking spaces to build a self-storage building at 30 Jetstream Avenue.

30 Jetstream Avenue. (Source: City Council Agenda 8 August 2022.)

Cllr Korab explained that, in the Envision Development Regulations, there’s one parking space required per every 100m² of floor area of Warehouse Use. This requires six spaces and there are three spaces provided, so the applicant wants three spots waived. He added they also have an arrangement with the nearby Best Western Plus hotel.

Cllr Froude said in this case, because it’s a self-storage building, he wondered if the regulation could be changed so council wouldn’t have to consider waiving parking relief for this type of development. Instead, staff could approve it before it came to Council.

Deputy City Manager of Planning, Engineering, & Regulatory Services Jason Sinyard said this would take a text amendment to the development regulations. So there’d be a public process and possibly a meeting.

At this point, Cllr Froude said he’s just asking for this to be considered, and not suggesting they make the change now.

Council also approved 10% variance at 7 Kent Place to allow a Rear Yard setback of 5.4 metres for the proposed Dwelling extension

Council set parking for the proposed Institutional Use at 150 LeMarchant Road, at three parking spaces (minimum).

150 LeMarchant Road. (Source: City Council Agenda 8 August 2022.)

It was an e-poll so Council is just ratifying it.

Someone is looking to convert the building into a 20-bed emergency shelter.

Tenders A Plenty

Vision Packaging Supplies Ltd. secured a contract valued at $118,678.48 (HST not included) to supply and deliver “safety supplies”—which is a pretty vague descriptor.

The contract is for one year with the possibility of two one-year extensions.

The other bidders were Alphapromed Canada Corp, ESBE Scientific, Hansler Smith Ltd., Hazmasters Inc., K&D Pratt, North Atlantic Supplies, Rock Safety Industrial Ltd., Source Atlantic Ltd., Stellar Industrial Sales Ltd., Vallen Canada Inc., and Work Authority. There were no values included in the agenda.

Cahill Instrumentation & Technical Services (2011) Ltd. has been awarded the contract to upgrade electrical components and control systems for 10 sanitary sewer pump stations throughout the City—for $399,418.06 (HST included).

The work has to be substantially completed by June 30, 2023, said Cllr Sandy Hickman.

The other bidders were Top Notch Electrical Ltd ($406,358.25) and Pennecon Energy Technical Services ($708,982.62).

Deputy mayor O’Leary did ask exactly what this work is for, and a city staff member answered, “It’s much more substantial than flushing your toilet. Once it goes into the system it requires—if there’s an elevation change—it needs a station to move it up to a different elevation. These are all electronically controlled. This is simply the maintenance of those structures, so that they all function as intended. And give the appropriate warnings as need be.”

Mayor Breen chimed in, “it’s really, really important.”

Council signed off on a standing offer agreement for the rental of Light Duty Vehicles from Hertz Canada Ltd. and Enterprise Holdings. The vehicles are for seasonal staffing for the summer and construction season.

“Right of first refusal will be given to the supplier with the lowest price per item, per time frame while meeting bid requirements,” said Cllr Sandy Hickman.

Council also recommended Karen Noel, Director of Property and Development for Stella’s Circle, for the Affordable Housing Working Group.

Cllr Ophelia Ravencroft said she’s looking forward to working with Noel.

Noel is taking over the spot vacated by Community Sector Representative Gail Thornhill of Stella’s Circle, who completed her two-year term. Back in April there was a call for a representative from the community sector involved in housing solutions.

Following up on that, Council approved the appointment of Robyn Drodge to the Environment & Sustainability Experts Panel.

Drodge is a lecturer at Memorial University as well as a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Sustainability at Nipissing University, said Cllr Froude.

Council signed off on appointing a new member to the Local Board of Appeal, as well as three members getting three-year extensions to their terms.

Council approved the recommendation to appoint Wayne Purchase to a three-year term on the Local Board of Appeal, effective July 27.

As well, they approved Cliff Johnston and Bruce Blackwood getting three-year extensions to their terms, to expire in July 2025. As well, Janet Bradshaw got a three-year extension, effective from April 2021 to April 2024.

Tely 10 Sets New Date

The next item on the agenda was road closures for upcoming events.

Fallowtree Place. (Source: City Council Agenda 8 August 2022.)

Fallowtree Place Block Party on August 27 (which has a rain date for September 10) will take place from 4pm – 10pm for the residents of Fallowtree Place and Jennmar Crescent. They will be closing only the cul-de-sac portion of Fallowtree Place.

The Tely 10—which was postponed on July 24 due to the heat—has a new date and it’s October 8. It will take place at 8am in Paradise and will end at approximately 11am in Bannerman Park.

The road closures for the race are:

  • Bannerman Road, October 7, 2:00 pm to October 8, 2:00 pm
  • Circular Road, October 8, 5:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Military Road, Bonaventure Avenue/Garrison Hill to Cochrane Street, October 8, 7:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Topsail Road @ Burgeo Street to Topsail Road / Cornwall Avenue, October 8 – No eastbound traffic from 8:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Cornwall Avenue/Hamilton Avenue/LeMarchant Road/Harvey Road/Military Road, October 8 – No Eastbound and Westbound traffic 8:00 am to 11:30 am
  • Columbus Drive from Topsail Road to Bay Bulls Road, October 8 – both directions closed 8:00 am to 11:00 am

City and CUPE Get Deal

And some pretty good news to end with: the Council ratified the Collective Agreement with CUPE Local 569.

It’s from the period of July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2026 and the union ratified the agreement on August 1. The next step was for Council to vote, said deputy mayor O’Leary.

She said the duration is for four years and the general increase is 2.5%; 2.75%; 2.25%; 3.5%.

The Shift Premium is an increase from $2 to $3 per hour for all hours worked outside of the 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

There’s also an increase from $1.00 to $1.50 per hour for all hours worked between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm on Saturday and/or Sunday for those whose regular work week includes these days.

There’s a $1000 signing bonus, she added.

Mayor Breen thanked City staff and the leadership of CUPE Local 569 for their hard work to reach a collective agreement.

“It’s challenging times and certainly there’s a lot of things happening in the economy, a lot of things happening in workplaces all over the world right now. So well done and I’m glad to see a four year agreement. It gives us stability as we move forward,” he said.

Council Goes To Gander

And finally, Council approved the registration and travel expenses for a number of councillors to attend the annual MNL Conference in Gander from November 2 – 5.

Those attending will be Deputy Mayor O’Leary and Cllrs Korab, Ravencroft, Hanlon, and Hickman.

Some additional details from the agenda, mayor Breen will be attending as the Council’s representative on the MNL Board, so his expenses are covered through that organization.

The Agenda notes the cost of registration is $550 per person—higher than last year. As well, the other travel costs aren’t known right now but it broke down that it previously cost $2645.5 to send two councillors.

The Go Round

Deputy Mayor O’Leary asked for an update on what’s going on at the Bowring Park Ove Arup bridge.

Mr. Sinyard said it’s a heritage structure, so they had to reach out to a heritage consultant for some input, and a tender will come out in the fall. Weather depending, the work could start later this year or early 2023.

The next item she spoke about was the Tombolo Multicultural Festival, which celebrated cuisine, music, arts and fashion. However, she noted that not enough people are coming out to these types of events. She wondered if the City might be able to consider the idea of assisting these non-profits with communications and getting the message out.

Cllr Hickman said work is underway on the bridge at Rennie’s River on Portugal Cove Road, which is great to see.

He also congratulated the Regatta Committee, the crews, vendors, and volunteers, as well as visitors on a great Regatta. He then thanked staff as well as the vendors for cleaning up around Quidi Vidi Lake after the big day.

Cllr Jill Bruce said she’s attended a number of the Harbourside Park concerts, both as an  MC and as a guest.

She also touted the upcoming Friends of India Association celebration called India’s 75th Independence Day happening on August 20 at 5:30 at the Sheraton Hotel. There will be dinner, dancing, and cultural performances.

Cllr Ravencroft asked for a status update on the Livingstone Street stairs situation, as she’s been getting queries about it.

Mr. Sinyard said the consulting firm that was doing some design work went through a recent acquisition, so it’s affected the schedule. But he said they’re pushing to get the project completed this fall.

She then congratulated the Regatte committee as well as the George Street Association for its recent festivities.

Cllr Korab congratulated Doug Redmond, who was made an honourary life member of the The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association on Sunday at the King George V pitch.

The Canada Games are taking place in Niagara right now and Team NL Swimmer Nathan Luscombe won a bronze medal, he also mentioned.

Cllr Korab also said that Cowan Heights United Church will be repainting its rainbow sidewalk on August 14 from 10am to 1pm, and will be painting a second one as well.

Mayor Breen concluded the meeting, thanking staff and the fire department for its work tackling the fire at Robin Hood Bay.

He added he wished all the best to the people dealing with the fires in Central Newfoundland:

“It’s a very, very serious situation to the fire fighters out there who are doing the work and to the leadership in keeping everybody safe. The best of luck in hoping that we get some rain so we can – never thought I’d ever say that – but hopefully we’ll get some rain so we can get things under control and let people in Central Newfoundland get on with their lives.”

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