Hay River town council has accepted a plan on enforcing municipal bylaws.
The plan, approved at the Oct. 19 online meeting of council, basically outlines which bylaws would be focused on at various times of the year.
“While we’re always active throughout the year in conducting enforcement of bylaws, we recognize that there are certain times of year where there’s more risk or opportunities to provide additional communication and support,” said Glenn Smith, the town’s senior administrative officer, in comments to The Hub late last week. “So what the plan is intended to outline is when we’ll be putting the additional focus and attention toward those elements of bylaw enforcement.”
The plan deals with nine bylaws covering animal control, taxi licensing, traffic, unsightly premises, street clearing, Porritt Landing, business licensing, lottery licensing, and zoning and building.
Smith said the plan becomes effective immediately.
“It could change,” he said. “But we expect and intend for our protective services specialist to be following that plan.”
In September, the town hired Travis Rosborough as its new protective services specialist – otherwise known as a bylaw officer.
During the Oct. 19 meeting of council, Deputy Mayor Robert Bouchard said he liked the plan, although he noted there seems to be a concentration on enforcing the traffic bylaw.
“It seems that it’s heavily weighted that way, and I’m not sure if that’s where I would feel comfortable seeing a lot of the activity happening,” he said.
Smith said the traffic bylaw has a seasonal focus, especially activities related to safe driving under winter conditions.
“So I think one of the things that’s not really maybe reflected in the plan is how we are trying to use those opportunities during stops to educate, as well,” he said. “So while we are continually monitoring those activities, it’s not necessarily a fining approach. It’s the opportunity to check in and ensure people have the proper documents and understand violations that may have occurred.”
Coun. Linda Duford praised the plan.
“I think the people of the town of Hay River are going to like what they see on this document that the monitoring is focused on animal control and traffic, because those are two of the issues that I routinely see come up on social media,” she said. “If people have a problem with something in the town, I’d say 90 per cent of the time they fall into one of those two categories.”
Coun. Brian Willows said he liked the approach of education and warnings on such things as stop signs and distracted driving.
“I like to see that we have some flexibility there,” Willows said. “I think it’s important.”