By Trevor Busch
The community has a new bylaw officer on the beat, and tickets and warnings have been steady for citizens on the wrong end of municipal violations.
Bylaw officer Brycen Benson has issued 47 tickets and warnings in the first month of 2019.
“I’m trying to do my best, but there’s a couple of things that have kept me busy,” said Benson at town council’s Feb. 19 meeting. “The biggest thing was public safety with the sidewalks this month, with the snow.”
In January 2019, 22 violation tickets were issued for failing to maintain sidewalks, two remedy orders were issued for unsightly properties along with 21 unsightly warning letters issued, one order was issued to remove a farming implement from a residence, and another warning was issued for “failing to ensure that a basement is adequately fenced to ensure public safety until such a time as the moved-in dwelling is in place.”
“And then the unsightlies, I’ve been getting after those at the beginning of the month,” said Benson. “Now that the snow is started to come I’ve put an extension on to them until May, just so they have room once the snow’s gone they can get the stuff out of their yard. It’s mainly vehicles.”
Coun. Linda English inquired about the town’s sidewalk snow removal guidelines under the bylaw.
“Just for when it snows, isn’t it 24 hours? Because I’ve had people complain.”
Benson argued he is giving residents ample time to remove snow prior to the issuance of any violation tickets.
“It’s 24 hours after it snows. I’ve usually been waiting two or three days. They have more than enough time.”
Town CAO Cris Burns warned bylaw violators to expect much more of the same in future as Benson targets enforcement issues that have been recently lagging.
“We’ve found Brycen’s been pretty good with sticking to the bylaw as laid out by council, whereas before some residences were being left alone previously. So that’s why he’s so busy. We’re finding that bylaws are actually getting enforced.”
“It’s a lot of catching up, that’s for sure,” replied Benson.
Mayor Margaret Plumtree also welcomed the return of the long arm of municipal law enforcement to the community in 2019.
“Well, we’ve been a while without a bylaw officer, so everyone’s got to brush up on their bylaws.”
Benson would also highlight efforts to enhance traffic enforcement throughout the community.
“You guys mentioned traffic to the RCMP. If it’s non-moving, then we can enforce that. So please let me know if you see anything.”