Chicken Bylaw one step closer to reality

Written by Terri Huxley

Council and administration went over the latest version of the chicken bylaw crafted by Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Quinton Flint.

After collecting information and data from other communities, the CAO provided council with a basic view and understanding of the Urban Chicken program that many other local communities are currently participating in.

This bylaw would allow up to four hens to be raised at one municipal property and provided that the property owners and neighbouring residents approve an individual to acquire hens.

The program is geared to allowing the raising of chicks, and that special considerations and care ought to be taken to ensure that the chicks and hens are raised in the most comfortable environment possible.

The bylaw is built in a way that municipal authority for the municipality is in place to ensure the upkeep and care of the chickens are taken seriously.

If at any time that the owner(s) of the hens or chicks is found negligent or guilty of an offence, for not following any of the provisions outlined in the bylaw, the municipality reserves the right to remove all animals with that property without question.

Some of the sections were changed to suit the municipality’s needs and to ensure that better practicality and functionally were built into the bylaw to ensure equality and fairness.

One section in particular was the requirement to have at least 50 per cent of the applicator’s neighbours allow them to have chickens on their property.

Council suggested it be 50 per cent of a horseshoe shape around the property to include neighbours across the back alley as many of these chicks will be housed in the back yard.

It also showed that if a neighbour and the application does not get along with each other, this section will only be a portion of decision, meaning unpleasant neighbours will not have full control over the fate of the application.

Land offer

In an unusual situation, a resident of Coronation has offered up his little parcel of land north of the community hall for free to the town.

Peter Zacharias sent in a letter, giving the empty lot at 5314 Victoria Avenue away.

All taxes have been paid on it.

This lot was home to a mobile trailer unit until 2019 when Mr. Zacharias had it removed from the town.

Mr. Zacharias has been working on selling the lot and looking for potentially interested parties to take the parcel of land off his tax roll with the help of the CAO. 

However, he was not successful in this endeavour and has offered his lot to the municipality in exchange for his bills and taxes to be waived.

“I’ve been working with him for four months to try to privately sell. He really struggled,” said CAO Flint.

Council was in favour of accepting the land without question.

Utility Rates Bylaw

The Town of Coronation Utility Rate Bylaw has seen some needed changes in the areas of enforcement.

The current bylaw does not explicitly outline the required steps needed to enforce the nonpayment of unpaid utilities or the need to enforce long term nonpayment.

Bylaw 2020-675, along with the guidance of the MGA, has been restructured to provide avenues of enforcement, while still being fair to all utility users within the municipality.

Also under scrutiny was the enforcement policy for residents if they miss payments on utility bills.

Currently there is ‘no bite’ to their policy on this.

Bylaw 2020-675 will enforce that if a resident’s utilities are in arrears more than three (3) consecutive months, then administrative actions can be taken to ensure cost recovery efforts.

If funds are not received, the administration can issue a 90-day notice letter to ensure compliance.

After the 90-day notice period, the utility would then be ordered to be shut off at the direction of the administration and the expense of the property owner.

If a resident wished to have a utility reconnected, it would be a mandatory requirement that the resident (property owner/renter) pay the full outstanding amount on the utility bill before receiving the reconnection of utilities.

This would also include full payment for the service fees to reconnect the utilities as well. 

If the utilities and the tax roll are not paid within a one-year period, it would be recommended to allow the administration to send the accounts to a collections agency to attempt to recoup the costs.

However, this section has not been included yet and would require some discussion within the council, due to COVID -19 at this time.

Currently, the administration rolls any outstanding utility bills for utilities into the registered property owner’s taxes if full payment is not received by Dec. 31, 2020.

This practice would be kept the same, except that if a renter did not pay their utility, the property owner would assume the costs and roll the outstanding into the tax roll for that property.

For the 2021 utility consumption rates, it would be recommended to do a slight increase in the flat rate charge from $25 to $30. It would also be recommended to increase the cubic meter charge to $3/PCM from $2.70/PCM.

Residents could expect a $7 increase to their bill as well as a 30 cent per cubic metre for water increase.

Council chose to table any type of motion to next meeting to allow for changes to be made to the current bylaw.

“We gotta look after the town but we got to look after the residents too,” said Coun. Shelley Cook.

Friends of Coronation School

Last year, the Friends of Coronation approached the Town of Coronation to assist with providing the school playground with soil and equipment to move the soil onto the playground.

Town Council at the time agreed to supply manpower and equipment to the Friends of Coronation and donated the time for the employees and equipment to move the soil onto the playground.

Administration has been reviewing the total cost for this donation in kind and is requesting council to consider waiving the “costs” associated with the work done during this time.

The motion made last year was not sufficient as it did not include a dollar amount so a new motion was made to donate the equipment and manpower towards the project, proceeding as a donation of equipment and manpower in lieu within the general ledger for $7,200 which was carried.

TELUS letter of support

TELUS sent in a letter requesting support from rural and small urban municipalities hoping to see prioritization of Rural Connectivity Across Canada in the federal government.

TELUS hopes to express the need to get high-speed internet to the rural areas of Canada, and that the demand is essential to act as soon as possible due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The reality is that with more individuals working from home and students and children doing more online classes, it has begun to show the issues of connectivity in the rural areas of each province, bogging down the current systems in place for all internet providers.

Council readily agreed to provide a letter of support for this lobbying effort.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.