The Town of Slave Lake bylaw that deals with such things as bad behaviour and unsightly yards is being amended. Council gave first and second readings last week to the new bylaw in an attempt to improve the enforcement of certain things and make compliance more likely.
For example: homeless or drunk people bothering shoppers. This behaviour is dealt with in the Criminal Code, meaning it’s a matter for the RCMP.
Mayor Tyler Warman says it has been fairly ineffective in curbing the problem. What’s proposed is to build prohibitions and penalties into the town bylaw, so the town peace officers can write tickets.
“The government can deduct the amount from their cheques (assuming they receive government cheques) and then pay us,” says Warman. “We’re hoping they’ll get the message that repeated behaviour is not appreciated.”
Another item: for a complaint about an unsightly yard to be legitimate, the unsightliness must be visible from ground level. Warman explains that this is in response to complaints (apparently more than a few) that come from people up on ladders looking over fences down into neighbouring yards. The proposal is that if the offensive items can’t be seen from the ground, they aren’t a legitimate problem.
Also: “Unsecured buildings,” Warman says. There hasn’t been a provision in town bylaw to force owners to board up doors and windows in empty buildings. Lately there have been some of these, where people have been breaking in, even starting fires and so on. As proposed, the amended bylaw would give the town the authority to force owners to make abandoned buildings secure.
Finally, the bylaw proposes increases in fines pretty much across the board.
Unsecured buildings are a safety hazard and the town wants more muscle in dealing with them.