Mayor of Winterton, Mark Sheppard
Welcome to Winterton - a small and beautiful coastal community on the shore of Trinity Bay.
The heart of Winterton is its people. We encourage you to become involved in community life. Meet your neighbors. Volunteer with local organizations. Support our local business community. Have your voice heard and participate in the events that affect you and your family.
As a visitor to Winterton youíll find lots to do. We have a large RV Park and community park which share many walking trails and points of interest such as the sugarloaf lookout. There is the very interesting community museum which is housed within the Provincial Boat Building Museum. This provincial museum is second to none in quality and presentation; its displays could easily take hours to browse. They not only tell the story of the wooden boat but the story and history of outport Newfoundland. The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador is a must-see for any visitor to Newfoundland.
Winterton is 1.5 hours from Newfoundlandís capital city, St. Johnís. Carbonear is a regional hub which is 0.5 hours away. Winterton has a very active volunteer fire department, a paid ambulance service, a gas station, mechanic, seniors home, convenience store and hardware store.
Hoping to see you soon!
Mayor of Winterton
Posted: Aug 15, 2017 2:57 pm NFLD
Responsibility for water and sewer.
For clarity I would like to present some facts on the homeowner's and town's responsibility for water and sewer infrastructure. I would also like to outline some issues, equipment and best practices of which a resident should be aware to ensure they receive the best service.
Who owns what?
The issue of responsibility comes down to this question. Maintenance including excavation of services is expensive and we strive to ensure that maintenance costs are borne by the appropriate party.
A) Water supply:
In the case of a water line to a residence the homeowner owns the pipe leading from the house to the "curbstop" which the inground valve. The town owns the curbstop and the pipe leading away from it to the main. This means that if the pipe leaks on the homeowner side of the valve it is their responsibility to engage a plumber and excavator to dig and repair the line. The town will act as contractor in some cases; at the discretion of the town or where it is uncertain if the leak is on the town side. However whoever "owns" the leak foots the bill. The town strives to reduce the cost as much as possible while completing good work.
B) Sewer services:
Where the sewer line crosses the property line is where responsibility switches from the homeowner to the town. The rules are like the water supply above; if there is a service interruption (blockage, broken pipe) on the resident's side of the property line it is their responsibility to engage a plumber/excavator to fix the problem. This issue has come as a surprise to residents in the past but the fact is very clear that the town is no more responsible for the sewer line on a homeowner’s property than it is for the shingles on the house; the sewer line is part of the homeowner’s house until it crosses the property line.
For both water and sewer the homeowner is responsible for ALL costs associated with connecting their new house all the way to the main line. BEFORE making major investments in property it is wise to get information on where the mains are located and approximate connection costs. The town does NOT do new service installation. While the homeowner has to pay for and install these services, because the town’s portion as described above reverts to the responsibility of the town after installation the town dictates the standards by which the installation takes place and oversees connections.
The homeowner can reduce the severity of potential problems and or not them much easier to solve by doing some or all of the following.
1 - Install a water shutoff in the house and test it... the curbstop may not work as expected, it is buried in the ground and thus maintenance doesn't happen until they break. You may need to shutoff the water to service an appliance and using the curbstop as a regular valve is not advised as this causes wear and it is buried and expensive to maintain and replace.
2- Have a cleanout and sewer backup valve on your sewer line, these will help prevent problems and will make problems easier to address if they happen. Your sewer line is invisible until it backs up, some careful maintenance and attention to this vital infastructure could save major grief.Standard of service delivery:
What to do if you experience a sewer backup:
1 - call a plumber to have the problem fixed.
2- notify the town office of the issue so we can have our equipment checked to aid your plumber to identify and solve the problem.
What to do if you experience a water leak (loud noice on the line or reduced pressure/flow):
1 - call the town to have the problem checked.
We are a small rural community and service delivery is not immediate. We do not have fulltime, around the clock, coverage. This is as directed by council, we expect that all residents will have some flexibility in the timing of service delivery, the effiency saving is reflected in the reasonable tax rates the town levys. If the problem happens outside normal business hours you can expect that we will get to you as soon as business hours resume. Priority is given to circumstances where service is completely disrupted (no water), multiple homeowners are affected, a business is closed, the school or seniors home is affected or where the service interruption is causing additional damage/loss as time passes.
Posted: Dec 9, 2015 10:43 pm NFLD
Year in ReviewFinance
Again this year the Town of Winterton is in very good financial shape.
As you are all aware there has been a reassessment of property values by the Municipal Assessment Agency. Our town, and all towns, pay a mandatory annual fee to this organization to conduct its work; Winterton annually pays roughly $13000. The job of the agency is to "distribute" the tax burden amoug the tax base (property owners). We are subject to a system whereby each property owner's share of the town's overall operating cost is allocated by the value of his or her property. The town raises it operating revenue by levying tax on property so we raise or lower the mil rate to generate the revenue needed to run the town. The process starts by calculating expenses then assessing the revenue needed to match the expenses. The formula is fairly straightforward, an overall value of all residencial and commercial properties is totaled and a percentage is applied to this figure to equal the revenue needed to funded operating expenses, that percentage is the mil rate. This year the property value overall (as assessed by the Municipal Assessment Agency) went up in Winterton by approximately 35%. Our target was to remain revenue neutral (meaning bringing in the same revenue as 2014) but we needed some extra based on budgeting for basic inflationary cost increases, capital planning for buildings and fire equipment. Overall the budgeted increase in tax revenue to be collected has risen by 2% over 2015. Back to the key word "distribute". The roles in how your tax bill is decided are: The town decides the overall tax bill, as I said we raised the revenue needed by 2%. The Municipal Assessment Agency decides who pays, they assess ability to pay by the value of your property, if your property goes up in value due to reassessment you are burdened with a larger percentage of the tax bill. This means that although overall taxes did not go up your tax bill could be higher or lower. Given that the increase in overall levied property tax is 2% and the average increase in property value is approximately 35% if your property value has risen by 35% you will see a 2% rise in your tax bill. Hopefully that is as clear as mud.
The town keeps its financial house in good order a number of ways:
1) By keeping long term debt to a minimum. This is something that your provincial and federal governments do not understand; every dollar paid out in debt service (interest) is a dollar which is not available to pay for services. We keep the debt low so that your tax dollars pay for services, not interest. If we can continue to spend within our means we will continue to enjoy low taxes.
2) By keeping costs down; our services are minimum but they meet requirements, are safely and effectively delivered and cost efficient.
3) Revenue generation; the Outside Pond Park generates revenue for the town every year. Aside from being an excellent recreation asset and a local provider of jobs for the community the park plays an important role in the towns finances.
4) Support where possible of local business. The town has an excellent business tax base. Respect and support for local local business hopefully helps them thrive and continue to be significant tax payers. Each dollar they pay above the cost to service their properties is a dollar residents do not have to pay.
1) Our mil rates for residential and commercial are some of the lowest in the region. We have a very low mil rate, no additional residential garbage collection fee and we also have low water/sewer rates.
2) Did I mention no long term debt!
Any questions please feel free to call the town office, one of your councilors or email me directly at email@example.comOutside Pond Park
The park had a good year, lots of visitors and lots of fun had by all.
Some improvements are ongoing. the trail is being converted from boardwalk to stone. The first section is now complete from the parking lot to the bridge and another section is mostly complete from the bridge to the offshoot to the gazebo, the second section can be used but still requires the fine stone topcoat. We are hoping to have another project for the spring to complete the walkway between the bridge and the new section of boardwalk, fingers crossed. Thank you to all our patrons for bearing with us through the redevelopment.
We ae also currently exploring a major upgrade of the electrical system, no decisions made at this stage but work is progressing on analyzing what is required to upgrade the system to better suit the newer, larger RVs for now and into the long term.Service Groups
Winterton is blessed with excellent groups of voluteers.
The Fire Department
is well manned but is always welcoming of anyone who wishes to help serve their community. Darrel Reid is the chief and can be contacted about membership.
The Recreation Commission
has a great group of voluteers but is also always looking for more people to help carry out events. They put off a very impressive series of events this year including various events for all ages. The building is a work in progress, slow and steady improvements are being made, but the commission is the people and as such it is very strong. They would love to see new full members but also need casual volunteers who may only be available on occasion to help at a function or prepare food, every bit counts, the more the merrier and many hands make light work! Contact president Jean Green for details.
The Wooden Boat Museum
is as always an ambassador for Winterton throughout the province and a major local asset for touism and local history. Their new Stages display is certainly well worth a browse. I am always amazed that such a fine quality of presentation is available in our small town. This group has brought a class of preservation not often seen outside major cities to our town as well as bringing jobs and investment.
The Softball Committee
has revived the sport in Winterton over the last couple years and brought life back to the ballfield. They can always use an extra pair of hands, Paul George or Michel Green are contacts for the group.
The Heritage Committee
and Harbour Authority
are also active in Winterton and anyone with specific interests in these areas can contact Gerald Piercey about the Harbour Authority or Ed Hiscock about the Heritage Committee.
The Ambulance Service
is always available and lightening quick, but hopefully no one wants to get ahold of them! In case you have an interest in becoming a EMR or just helping in citizen role Paul Coates or Victor Pitcher would welcome a call.
I am proud to call Winterton my home. It can be made better by helping in any of the ways spelled out above.
If there is any way council can improve its service delivery please write us a letter, note or email and we will be pleased to make every effort. Please consider attending a council meeting or getting involved with one of our service groups.
Have a safe and merry christmas and a happy new year.
Posted: Sept 13, 2015 6:23 pm NFLD
This year one section of the boardwalk, starting from the playground entrance, will be removed and replaced with stone walkway. This decision was not made lightly. The boardwalk is deteriorating faster than it can be replaced and the cost is very high. The original walk was put in place partially funded and there is no exterior funding available right now to maintain it. We have estimated the annual cost of the wooden boardwalk at roughly 10 times that of a gravel path. We know the wooden walkway cost and are estimating the gravel path costs.
That being said cost is only one factor, the wooden structure is not sustainable as it needs constant maintenance and periodic wholesale replacement.; there is an environmental cost to consider. Maintenance will be easier and less intrusive. A gravel path will be more safe to use as well.
The path plan follows provincial site design and will be flat, tamped and as accessible as possible.
Certainly there will be challenges but we hope that all our stakeholders will bear with us in this change.
Posted: July 10, 2014 10:43 pm NFLD
Town Water - Boil OrderAn update on the second boil order of the year. First of all, there is NO physical reason for the boil order, the council is not aware of any actual problem with the water in the town. Nothing to do with the water or the distribution or treatment systems is any different now than before the boil water advisory was enacted. That being said there is a boil water advisory in place and all residents SHOULD BOIL WATER before using.
The boil water advisory is in place because we do not have a person in the position of system operator, the job typically carried out by the Superintendent of Works. Without a part time or full time person in this position the provincial government will not allow the town to operate the water system without the boil water advisory in place.
Let me reiterate, there is NO physical reason for the advisory. The chlorine house has recently had an annual inspection, work was carried out to bring items up to date and further standard maintenance is planned when some additional parts are received but all this is standard maintenance. The problem which necessitates the boil water advisory is procedural; this is a precaution which protects the residents in the case that the system fails while there is no operator in place. CLEARLY council agrees with the issuance of the advisory and agrees that it protects the residents of the town until a system operator is put into place. If the system fails while an operator is in place then procedures are there to detect the failure and take protective action, with no operator these procedures are not in place and potential harm could result.
Next issue, why is there not an operator. The Superintendent of Works (SIOW) was laid off for lack of work in April of this year. During the summer months there is not a full 40 hours of work per week and council saw fit at the time to layoff the SIOW with the understanding that he would be rehired as and when it was appropriate. The job description under which the existing SIOW was hired described the position as seasonal for this reason. Coincidentally, the following week a group which included the SIOW petitioned the Labour Board to be represented by the Teamsters union as a unionized bargaining unit within the Town of Winterton. The town wished to avoid having a union represent their employees as we felt it was not necessary and would prove to be very expensive for the taxpayers. During the course of the ongoing process of representing our case to the Labour Board the town was instructed by its legal advisor to leave existing layoffs in place. The town is also legally prevented from hiring any new staff during when this labour representation issue is being dealt with.
Conclusion. This government’s requirement to have an operator or put on a boil order combined with the fact that the union application has left us unable to hire an operator means we are, for the time being, left with very few options. While the water is still being treated we cannot make the standard of guarantee the government needs to sanction lifting the boil order. Until the process of establishing whether the town staff will be unionized reaches a conclusion we do not know where we stand and cannot change staffing.
I am asking for patience from the residents. Please bear with us through this difficult time. We are trying our best to keep costs down while providing the best services possible. We see the process taking another 4 weeks. We are working on other creative options to speed lifting the boil order but so far we have been unsuccessful.
Please continue to boil your water. With respect to ongoing water quality outside the boil order we have heard your concerns about water colour and excessive chlorine taste/smell, please continue to send letters and talk to your councillors. We are working with the Department of Municipal Affairs to begin the process of upgrading the water treatment and distribution system.
If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or one of your other councillors.
Posted: Feb 28, 2014 10:14 pm NFLD
Current Water Treatment Issues
This is a brief explanation of the history of the current water treatment problem in Winterton.
The problem started in the summer of 2013 when we had a problem with the gas chlorinators in the treatment house which meant the water stopped being treated. At that time the town tried to get service from the contractor who installed the system originally but could not get that contractor to service the equipment. The town then got assistance from a competing contractor who got the chlorinators working again.
The town then put out a RFP for engineering services to analyse options for replacement or major upgrades to the chlorine treatment system. This was done to put the town in a proactive position to act responsibly and with full information in the decision to acquire new equipment and/or repair existing equipment. The engineering company selected was commissioned and the report was received in Feb 2014.
The water treatment system failed again when the chlorinators failed in December 2013 and again we tried to get the original contractor but again they were unavailable, the same backup contractor was called but this time could not get the system working, this contractor then suggested major system upgrade/replacement (over $20,000 worth of work) to make the system operational but council wanted to wait until the engineering report came back before making such extensive upgrades. The council met with Provincial Municipal Engineering services and took advice on how to proceed. We continued to search for another gas chlorine service contractor but to no avail.
In early January mayor Sheppard made contact with the company who built the chlorination equipment and arranged to have the equipment shipped to their facility to be rebuilt for reasonable cost. The town Superintendent of Works and councillor D.Reid removed the equipment and packaged it for shipping and the rebuilt equipment was received back in Winterton on the 25th of February. The equipment was reinstalled on the 27th of February and chlorine is again flowing into the town water supply as of Friday February 28th. I would like to thank councillor D.Reid for his assistance with this matter as it is beyond the normal duties of a town councillor. As soon as possible the clerk will have the water tested and have the boil order lifted; this process can take up to a few weeks.
Another issue with the town water supply is the colour of the water; this is not related to the chlorination treatment. The town is currently writing an RFP for engineering services to analyse the townís water supply and sewage system in general and specifically provide advice on upgrades repairs.
I would like to express councilís appreciation for the publicís patience with this matter. We understand the importance of having treated, clean water and we are pursuing this goal while trying to maintain control of the costs and spend your tax money wisely.
Posted: June 5, 2013 2:49 pm NFLD
Staff Reorganization at Town of WintertonStaffing changes have been implemented recently at the town office. Changes are being made to derive more benefit from the resources committed to staffing, maximize synergies between the town office and park and focus resources on the core responsibilities of the town. This reorganization creates more effective town management at a very minimal increase in overall cost and no additional financial commitment from tax revenue.
The Town Clerks position has been changed to a new position which is to include more administrative duties and responsibilities including enhanced communication with the town subcommittees and groups, more management responsibilities and responsibility for management of the Outside Pond RV Park; the new title is Town Clerk/Administrator. Stephanie Powers-Green has accepted the promotion and will carry on in the new role.
A new position has been created titled Assistant Town Clerk, this is a full-time seasonal position (8 months year). Duties are split between the RV park and town office. Suzanne Coates has accepted this position.
The RV Park Manager position has been made redundant and the responsibilities of this role have been split between the Town Clerk/Administrator and the Assistant Town Clerk. The town council would like to thank former Park Manager Lee Broaders for his years of commitment to making the park successful.
Posted: Dec 18, 2012 2:25 pm NFLD
Posted: Dec 9, 2012 6:34 pm NFLD
New Waste Management System
Here is an explanation of the new waste management system. I have addressed the recent history of the changes to waste collection as well as some of the costs.Full Document
Posted: Oct 19, 2012 7:45 pm NFLD
New Town Website Accomplished
We are very proud to announce our new town website. This website will help residence keep closely updated with town administration, maintenance, events and community news. This page will allow me to post my thoughts that may be of interest to residents, visitors and business.
Click on Municipal category below.
Minutes & Reports
Permits & Applications
Policies & Regulations