(The Shoreline; Vol. 32 No. 8 - May 8 2019)
The Town of Conception Bay South is entering into a partnership with the Foxtrap Harbour Authority.
During a regular meeting of council on Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Richard Murphy outlined the deal, which will see the Town give the Authority a $10,000 annual grant to help offset its property tax bill.
Murphy explained the Town has been in discussions with the harbour authority’s board in recent weeks, following the group’s advisement that it was facing difficulties with paying the property tax bill. The Authority approached the Town hoping to work with council to find a solution.
“The Harbour Authority provides a public boat launch, which the Town wishes to remain for use by the residents,” said Murphy. “The Town provides road maintenance and snow clearing services in that area, and we are pleased to enter into a partnership agreement with (the Foxtrap Harbour Authority) whereby they would maintain public access for boat owners who wish to use their facility.”
The Harbour Authority’s boat launch is one of the only launches in the town that is not privately operated, making it a valuable asset to the community, Murphy said.
As a part of the agreement, the Harbour Authority is required to provide the Town with an annual report of its activities. Murphy said this includes financial statements.
In return, the Authority will be provided a $10,000 grant from the Town, which will be reviewed annually during budget time.
“This grant would be used to offset a portion of the annual property tax bill,” said Murphy. “A formal agreement will be drafted to outline the terms of this partnership. So, we’re happy to help out this (group) who, in turn, provide a service to our residents.”
Councillor-at-large Rex Hillier pointed out that although the Authority’s facility is primarily a public boat launch, it also serves as the community’s fishing harbour, where most of the town’s professional harvesters tie up their boats.
Hillier said the partnership will be a major benefit to them in ensuring the basin remains open.
Councillor-at-large Kirk Youden also spoke in favour of the agreement.
“In Conception Bay South, there’s relatively little access to the water, with Foxtrap being one of them,” Youden noted. “In Seal Cove, there’s a couple of entrance points, and in Long Pond, but there’s a huge demand for it. “(The Harbour Authority) maintains a huge piece of infrastructure that they lease off and run as a community not-for-profit board for the federal government. So, they do pay property tax, and they do have a nice bill, and what we’re doing is, we’re going to alleviate some of those things because of the service and the partnership with the community that they do. So, I’ll be supporting this.”
The motion to provide the grant carried unanimously.