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Parking near clinic a concern

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

There's no easy solution when it comes to a perceived shortage of available parking spots in front of the Flin Flon Clinic. That was the feeling of Flin Flon City Council Tuesday when the group discussed a request from the clinic to reserve at least six parking spots for patients and handicapped people. "Patients, often sick or handicapped, are not given an opportunity to park near the Flin Flon Clinic. This is unacceptable!" read a letter from clinic executive director Scott Davidson. "This, in my opinion, is a serious concern, as patients are being obstructed from getting the health services they need." Councillor Cal Huntley commented that "parking at the clinic has always been an issue," but added that he doesn't see the City playing a role in providing patient parking. "There are private parking facilities in all major cities that govern themselves," he said. "They don't have the (local government) looking after it." Councillor Huntley suggested that Council, if possible, consider renting parking spots to the clinic, similar to how the taxi companies rent spaces on Main Street. He said the clinic could perhaps implement a $100 tow-away fee for drivers who take the spots away from patients. Councillor Tom Therien wondered who would police the parking spaces if the City reached some sort of agreement with the clinic. "Are they going to have to police it themselves, they being the Flin Flon Clinic, if we go ahead with something like this?" he asked. The question of how the enforcing body would distinguish patient vehicles from non-patient vehicles also lingered in Councillor Therien's mind. "How do you control it?" he asked. Mayor Dennis Ballard echoed that concern, to which Councillor Huntley replied, "But isn't that (the clinic's) issue?" Also weighing in on the discussion was Councillor Dave Kennedy, who commented that part of the parking problem has to do with "the Flin Flon parking perception,"saying that local residents tend to want to park quite close to their destination. "It's perception and... our expectations may be a little outdated," he said. See 'Paving' P.# Con't from P.# Councillor Bill Hanson said he believes the problem relates to uptown employees parking on Church Street, where the clinic is located, during work hours. The letter from the clinic was referred to the Traffic Commission for further review. In another matter, Councillor Dave Law announced that Elm Avenue, the small street connecting Dominion Boulevard with Roche Boulevard, will be paved. He said this past summer's paving project in that area came under budget and that there is enough surplus to pave the gravel road. The paving will be completed this year providing the weather cooperates, Councillor Law said. If not, it "will have to be budgeted for next year," he said. A Roche Boulevard couple had written to Council expressing their disappointment that Elm Avenue was not included in the original paving project in the neighbourhood. As well, Council reviewed a letter signed by 10 residents unhappy with the state of Bud Jobin Park, located in front of the Jubilee Residence on Green Street. The letter stated that the park "is slowly becoming an eyesore" and "the grass and weeds will soon be coming through the benches and covering the edging rocks." Mayor Ballard clarified that the park does not belong to the City and that "there is nothing we could do if we wanted to" enhance it. "I think this is just a misunderstanding on the part of these people," he said. Councillor Nazir Ahmad commented that he agreed with the concerns in the letter, saying "at one time this park was so beautiful and everybody who looked at it was proud of it." Also, Council approved the final reading of a motion to increase restricted area parking fines on Hapnot Street from $4 to $40. "That's a substantial fine," commented Councillor Therien, who read the motion. "Hopefully it will deter people (from taking up those spots)." The parking spots on the east side of Hapnot Street between the Royal Canadian Legion and the Third Avenue intersection are reserved for residents of the homes on that strip. Those people have been assigned permits to use the spots, as none of their homes have a back alley and most lack a driveway. Council also reviewed a letter from a Queen Street resident expressing strong concerns over noise emanating from a rock crusher in the Timber Lane area. "The sound it makes is comparable to a very large truck parked with its engine running close by," he wrote. The resident went on to state that he was not informed of the rock-crushing operation and therefore did not have a chance to oppose it. Councillor Law commented it was unfortunate that the complainant was not aware of the situation but said that the public was notified as required. "We actually sent out more notices than what was required," he said. Councillor Huntley noted that the operators of the rock crusher must still obey noise by-laws. "It is governed to a certain degree, but it certainly is a shame (the resident) wasn't able to come and voice his concerns to us," he said. "But I think we did all we could do." The letter prompted Councillor Ahmad to suggest that there may be "some additional steps that we should, at times, take to make sure that people are fully aware" of such decisions. A recap of other matters: Council filed September's Fire Chief's Report, which noted that there were six false alarms last month. Councillor Therien congratulated the Flin Flon Lions Club on "50 years of great service to our community."