LABRADOR CITY, N.L.
Labrador City Mayor Wayne Button says a lot was accomplished in the town during 2018, and the plan is to keep the momentum going in 2019.
“Looking back, there are a number of initiatives that started during the year that have worked well,” Button told The Aurora.
One of those is the Windrow program, which means people such as seniors or people who need assistance will have snow piled up from when the plow goes by removed by the town.
“Close to 40 people signed up for the program,” said Button. “It can be difficult for somebody who is older or who has a disability to see the driveway they just shoveled, filled in moments later by the snow plow.”
This program will continue into 2019.
A program to assist businesses with improving their facade and access was accessed and will also continue.
The town completed a Wi-Fi project that sees free Wi-Fi provided in areas like Tanya Lake, the skate park, the recreation area, and parks.
A big addition this year was the speed bump program designed to slow down traffic in busy areas such as school zones.
Button says that program is almost too popular, with many people coming forward looking for speed bumps in many areas of town. The program has been proving to be very effective and the town has plans to increase the number of speed bumps throughout the community.
Wastewater treatment is a continuing project for the municipality. Button said the town will have no trouble meeting the new 2020 standards, not in time for next year but maybe ahead of time.
When asked about the odor issue that has bothered people in the area of town near the sewage treatment plant, Button said the town is still working on a trial and error project, but there are plans for a public meeting in the new year to inform people what they have been doing and to hear comments from residents.
However, he did note that recent work with older pipes may have helped somewhat with the issue.
The Mayor says the summer program once again was a success and points to the towns project to engage with consultants to draw up a long-term plan for things such as walking trails and a whole blanket policy to enhance lifestyle for residents of the area.
On the infrastructure side of things, the town will continue with street and curb reconstruction in the coming year, as work done this last summer was very welcome after being needed for a while.
Beneficial to the economy
Button says the town received a big boost this year with the opening of Wabush 3. More jobs and a longer life for the mine reflects well on the community. And add to that the reopening of Wabush Mines, it’s expected that will also be beneficial to the economy in the coming year.
“We have budgeted $3 million for our wellness centre, we will double the speed bumps, continue with programs to improve facades and access,” Button said. “The town is going to implement a program that will provide help with taxis for seniors and people with some disabilities.”
Button points out this is not a vehicle to transport chairs, etc., but a program to work with local taxis. The details will be made available in the near future.
The Aurora asked about the plan the town brought forward for people to access $100,000 for projects. Button says the announcement of those projects would be made public in the New Year.
Another project planned for 2019 is an indoor playground. It is being carried out with the assistance of $20,000 from Canadian Tire, to be located at the Labrador City arena. It is hoped the project will be completed this summer.
Overall Button says 2018 — despite a labor disruption — has fared well, and the addition of Wabush 3 and the opening of Tacora will make for a great start to 2019, a year Button hopes that may even finally see some engagement on the issue of amalgamation.