City Council Roundup - August 19th

City Council Roundup - August 19th, 2013

Well here we are again! Lots on the go down on New Gower, so we'll get right to it.

1. No open elections for committee members

A motion by councilor O'Leary to have committee members elected at a general meeting of council (rather than by secret ballot) was defeated - expect it to pop up on the agenda for the new council once they're elected, though.

2. Daycare coming to Elizabeth Avenue

After some very contentious debate, council approved a new daycare to be operated on Elizabeth Avenue by the St. John's Native Friendship Centre. In this case, they were in fact going against the recommendations of city staff.

3. Surplus a-comin

Interim budget projections show the city on track for a surplus of around $5 million this year - nothing to unusual to report, other than the usual issues with revenues coming in early or late and some impacts from the new combined business tax system.

4. Lots from Police and Traffic

  • The Committee recommended that Residential Permit parking be installed on Hamilton Avenue adjacent to Civic #209 to Civic #215.
  • The Committee recommended that "No Parking Anytime" be installed on both sides of Springdale Street between New Gower Street and Pleasant Street. (The Committee was advised that these signs have already been installed)
  • Residents are concerned about loitering in vehicles at the end of the street so they are requesting a parking restriction that can be enforced by the City or the RNC. The Committee recommended that "No Stopping Anytime" be installed at the end of Tobin's Road to discourage vehicles from loitering in this area
  • The committee asked for an investigation of the mess up at Portugal Cove and Higgins Line, where traffic entering the Tim Hortons has a habit of jamming the intersection
  • A crosswalk has been approved for a pedestrian-activated traffic light by Tucker's on Empire Avenue, but it hasn't happened yet. There was talk of prioritizing this
  • The committee will send a letter to the RNC asking whether there are any regulations governing panhandlers in medians
  • Did you know the city technically bans road hockey?  It isn't currently enforced often, but the bylaw is on the books. The committee recommended that if a complaint is received, a letter will be sent to residents in the area stating that a neighbour has complained and that the offending net must be removed from the street
  • Staff will be asked to investigate places where it would be possible to move back to 30 km/h limits in school zones
  • Neighbours are requesting a three-way stop at Brookfield Road, Cowan Avenue, and Road de Luxe (where there's quite a bit of truck traffic). Committee will look into it
  • Residents are complaining of high speeds in the area of Kenna's Hill, especially since sidewalks are lacking. It is, however, classified as "arterial" - which means no traffic calming allowed.
  • After a bit of confusion when both street cleaning and construction were on the go at the same time on Golf Ave, the city will look into using visual maps to indicate where parking is permitted when restrictions are being put in place
  • Councillors Tilley and Breen moved to disband the bike lanes on Frecker, Cowan Avenue, and Canada drive, citing complaints about reduced parking. This one failed.
  • Traffic calming on Topsail Road seems to have worked (a bit), bringing speeds down from around 60 to 50 km/h

5. Some nuggets from the audit committee

  • There was talk of raising the $55 per diem offered for travel on city business - but the Audit Committee decided against it
  • The audit of salary administration had a bunch of recommendations, including setting clearer policies around car allowances, doing some salary comparisons with the market and other cities, and developing a single policy for overtime pay.
  • Next year's audits will include:
    •  Tax Blending
    • Vacancy Rebate Process (Financial Services)
    • Assessments ( Financial Services)
    • Regional Water (Engineering)

6. Airport Street Names

The access roads being built for the airport now have names: World Parkway, Navigator Avenue, and Jetstream Avenue. Up, up and away!

7. Saying goodbye to Tom Dawe, St. John's Poet Laureate

Did you know that St. John's has an official poet? And that he's awesome? Tom Dawe's 4 years on the throne are coming to an end, and his final report was submitted to council this week.  The legacy project of his term in office is an upcoming book of Haikus, mostly composed during his service as poet laureate. 

Written by Happy City at 12:20



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