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North West River contractors cut off from hauling gravel

North West River Mayor Art Williams defended the town’s decision to stop local contractors from hauling gravel out of the local pits, saying that heavy trucks have been doing damage to roads, and creating excessive noise.
North West River Mayor Art Williams defended the town’s decision to stop local contractors from hauling gravel out of the local pits, saying that heavy trucks have been doing damage to roads, and creating excessive noise.

A contractor in North West River is not happy with the council’s decision to disallow him and others from hauling gravel out of the local pits.

Malcolm Snow said he began hauling gravel out of the pits this spring with a five-ton dump truck, selling each load for $50. During the first few months of operation, Snow estimates he sold 50-75 loads to the residents of North West River.

But in July, he received a letter from the town, saying that he must cease hauling gravel on municipal roads.

Snow claims that, since he received the letter, he has had to turn away $20,000 worth of business from residents who wanted him to deliver gravel.

“I think it’s stupid,” said Snow. “They should be supporting small businesses … instead they’re shutting us down.”

North West River Mayor Art Williams defends the town’s decision to stop people from hauling gravel through town.

According to Williams, two companies from happy Valley-Goose Bay used to pay the town $20,000 a year each to haul gravel out of the Sunday hill pits. But, after the town stopped receiving payments, town council decided to end the hauling back in 2014.

“The gravel trucks issue in North West River, that’s been ongoing for a long, long, time. We’ve had two companies out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay who was hauling gravel out of North West River,” said Williams. “They were basically paying council to travel over municipal roads.”

“They were also doing in-kind donations to the community. They were keeping up Airstrip Road, for example. They also graded Sunday Hill Road, top and bottom, and they did a lot for the town those two companies did.”

“But the two companies decided that they didn’t want to pay the Town of North West River any more money for using the municipal roads.”

Early this summer, town council learned that two local contractors, including Snow, were still using the pits. Williams said that it wouldn’t be fair to allow some people to use the pits, while other companies have already been told to stop.

“So those two (Happy Valley-Goose Bay) companies were cutoff. And this summer … it was brought to council’s attention there were people hauling from the pits in there. So in all fairness … we couldn’t very well turn around and say to other companies that they could haul.”

Williams went on to say that, even if the two local contractors were willing to pay the town to haul gravel through town, he doubts council would be in favour.

The Mayor believes the small community is better off without dump trucks straining the town’s road with heavy loads of gravel, and bothering residents with loud noise.

“I don’t know if council would even entertain that at this time because, when the gravel trucks left, a lot of residences were glad they were gone,” said Williams.

“What we’re trying to do is stop all the damage being done to all of our roads. And the noise associated with the gravel trucks was unbelievable on the Airstrip for people living there.”

If people from North West River now want to get gravel for their property, they have to get a company from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to bring it down over Route 520.

Williams claims the loads coming down from Happy Valley-Goose Bay can be checked over by the highway enforcement officer before reaching North West River.

Any gravel originating from inside North West River, however, cannot be checked for excess weight.

“If people in North West River wants gravel, they can still get gravel. They have gravel come down from Goose Bay,” said Williams.

“With trucks coming down from Goose Bay now, we have the luxury of the highway enforcement officer. He’ll stop the vehicles coming down and all this.”

“Right now, we don’t need to worry about overloaded trucks because the highway enforcement officer takes care of that.”

 

derek.montague@thelabradorian.ca

 

Malcolm Snow said he began hauling gravel out of the pits this spring with a five-ton dump truck, selling each load for $50. During the first few months of operation, Snow estimates he sold 50-75 loads to the residents of North West River.

But in July, he received a letter from the town, saying that he must cease hauling gravel on municipal roads.

Snow claims that, since he received the letter, he has had to turn away $20,000 worth of business from residents who wanted him to deliver gravel.

“I think it’s stupid,” said Snow. “They should be supporting small businesses … instead they’re shutting us down.”

North West River Mayor Art Williams defends the town’s decision to stop people from hauling gravel through town.

According to Williams, two companies from happy Valley-Goose Bay used to pay the town $20,000 a year each to haul gravel out of the Sunday hill pits. But, after the town stopped receiving payments, town council decided to end the hauling back in 2014.

“The gravel trucks issue in North West River, that’s been ongoing for a long, long, time. We’ve had two companies out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay who was hauling gravel out of North West River,” said Williams. “They were basically paying council to travel over municipal roads.”

“They were also doing in-kind donations to the community. They were keeping up Airstrip Road, for example. They also graded Sunday Hill Road, top and bottom, and they did a lot for the town those two companies did.”

“But the two companies decided that they didn’t want to pay the Town of North West River any more money for using the municipal roads.”

Early this summer, town council learned that two local contractors, including Snow, were still using the pits. Williams said that it wouldn’t be fair to allow some people to use the pits, while other companies have already been told to stop.

“So those two (Happy Valley-Goose Bay) companies were cutoff. And this summer … it was brought to council’s attention there were people hauling from the pits in there. So in all fairness … we couldn’t very well turn around and say to other companies that they could haul.”

Williams went on to say that, even if the two local contractors were willing to pay the town to haul gravel through town, he doubts council would be in favour.

The Mayor believes the small community is better off without dump trucks straining the town’s road with heavy loads of gravel, and bothering residents with loud noise.

“I don’t know if council would even entertain that at this time because, when the gravel trucks left, a lot of residences were glad they were gone,” said Williams.

“What we’re trying to do is stop all the damage being done to all of our roads. And the noise associated with the gravel trucks was unbelievable on the Airstrip for people living there.”

If people from North West River now want to get gravel for their property, they have to get a company from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to bring it down over Route 520.

Williams claims the loads coming down from Happy Valley-Goose Bay can be checked over by the highway enforcement officer before reaching North West River.

Any gravel originating from inside North West River, however, cannot be checked for excess weight.

“If people in North West River wants gravel, they can still get gravel. They have gravel come down from Goose Bay,” said Williams.

“With trucks coming down from Goose Bay now, we have the luxury of the highway enforcement officer. He’ll stop the vehicles coming down and all this.”

“Right now, we don’t need to worry about overloaded trucks because the highway enforcement officer takes care of that.”

 

derek.montague@thelabradorian.ca

 

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