SPRINGDALE, NL — Springdale Mayor Dave Edison participated in a question and answer session with the Nor’wester about the upcoming year.
Q: What’s your top municipal priority for 2018?
A: We have two government jobs that I would say will get done just out of necessity and the monies are in place for it. They are capital works jobs – infrastructure – for a couple of streets and a lift station and so on. That will obviously take precedent for us.
Outside of those two things we are certainly concentrating on cleanup of our town.
Early in the new year we are likely going to be approaching government about infrastructure. We are going to need water lines and paving for most of our main roads.
That would probably be priority Number 1 and the cleanup would be 1A.
A: In terms of keeping our town and taxpayers happy, when you start to see people coming in from the retail side and expanding downtown, you want to make sure your roads are in good shape.
Our roads, from Main Street where the old RCMP use to be down to the hospital, need work. We don’t want to just go pave it because there is work underneath that needs to be done. Getting those roads done and the infrastructure underneath would be huge for us.
The waterfront is such a big part of this town. With the goal of heading toward a marina, maybe in 2019, we want to have everybody look at their properties. We are going to be putting monies in to help people clean up, if they need help.
Q: What are some of the challenges your town is facing in 2018?
A: As I mentioned, we are not pleased with the road on our main street. Until we get something done to upgrade those … We would love to see more housing starts. There are two or three individuals looking at getting some subdivisions started, so we would love to see that come into play.
Q: Is there a plan in place to address possible difficulties?
A: We would be there to help in any way we could to move that forward. It obviously increases the tax base.
Q: What is one thing the provincial government could do or change that could help municipalities do better in the future?
A: I don’t know about change … I certainly like where we fall in the 90/10 (capital works formula). I really like that program.
In reality, our provincial government funds are not great either, so as the oil rises, we would like to see more funding announced and agreed to as part of that priority list (capital works projects).
Our main goal outside of the priority listing and infrastructure program would be the new hospital.
Q: What are some of the new things you’ve learned since becoming mayor?
A: I know I have a great group to work with. We have had some interesting discussion already.
I am a fairly busy guy outside of council, so I have been very appreciative of staff and our council members for filling in for events I couldn’t make.
But, to sit around the table with these guys, there are lots of fresh ideas – and they have to understand too that things don’t happen overnight – but there are already some ideas that have been put forward in the 2018 budget and there is stuff we talked about pursuing for 2019 and beyond.