Chicken Bylaw passes first reading

Chicken ECA Review/file
Written by Terri Huxley

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Quinton Flint presented the first draft of the chicken bylaw to council at their meeting on Mon. Aug. 10.

CAO Flint has been working with Coronation resident Titi Akindipe as three requests to allow chickens within town limits have come in.

Council passed first reading of the bylaw which allows room to review the bylaw further in the future.

In it, it states that each parcel of land – depending on size – is allowed up to four hens.

Roosters are not allowed because of their loud wake-up call.

Residents that wish to have these birds are also required to ask for neighbour’s permission.

They will be accepted if over 50 per cent of surrounding neighbours say yes.

Baby chicks on the other hand will be allowed up to a certain age.

These should count towards the total of four birds on the property, not as additions to this base number.

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.
No individual will be allowed to slaughter on their property.

If at any time that the owner 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 from that property without question.

CAO Flint said he gained a lot of insight from looking at pilot programs in Alberta’s largest cities like Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer.

Edmonton is still currently running their pilot program.

Flint noted that they require each animal to be considered a domestic pet and require each participant to have an inspected and licensed coop to ensure comfortability and safety.

“Owners waive the right to private property. Those chicks can be checked every day by the bylaw officer,” explained Flint.

“We are working to make sure it’s fair and also not out of reach but well regulated.”

“I like that they have to get permission from the neighbours too,” said Coun. Shelley Cook.

CAO Flint asked council for only the first reading of the bylaw to work out any minor adjustments before putting the bylaw into motion which was accepted by council.

Special council meeting
A resolution was made at the last regular meeting on July 13 for authorizing $100,000 to the Paintearth Regional Waste Management Ltd. which is then distributed to the Paintearth Economic Partnership Society (PEPS).

This action requires unanimous consent from all parties involved with waste management.

Council passed their individual motion with majority but not unanimous.

Coun. Brigley did not agree to pass it without seeing what PEPS has been up to as she has heard from several people that they were questioning its’ validity and if it was worth spending that much money on.

“That stuff should be pretty clear. That’s a lot of money they get every year. It would be nice to get the waste manager to enlighten us on what they do,” she said.

With council unsure of which level of unanimous voting is needed with either being at the council level or regional level, they chose to table last meeting’s minutes until this was clarified.

Tax Rate Bylaw fixes
Council had approved Bylaw 673 – Tax Rate Bylaw in June but during the process of developing the municipal budget, it has come to the attention of administration that there were a few errors made within the Designated Industrial Property (DIP) levy, and within the non-residential tax levy.

It was noted that a few errors had been made during the implementation of the DIP levy and the transfer of land sales and the placement of the municipal mill rates.

These errors caused the system to provide false numbers as a result.

Luckily, not much had been changed because of this as only a couple landowners were affected by skewed tax rates which resulted in a reduction to their taxes once corrected.

Council passed three motions to allow for the amendments.

Grocery store closing
As many have noticed, the Family Foods grocery store on Royal Street is shutting its doors to the public with 70 per cent off signs plastered on its windows.

Councillors brought this up at council, asking if administration or PEPS could do anything to stop this, much like the Fields store situation.

CAO Flint did approach the owners but they wished not to comment although rumour has it, it was stifled cash flow.

I had no idea it was even happening,” said Flint.

“We might have to come up with some kind of plan towards economic development –  heavy heavy economic development. And make it local and only local.

“We need to focus on our own town,” said CAO Flint.

He suggested they ask PEPS to step it up for their community but also acknowledged they have to look at alternative action.

Cold Lake letter
The Mayor of Cold Lake has sent out a copy of their council’s motion to ask all municipalities within Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to voice their concerns and support lobbying the federal government for change.

This has to do with the recent changes to the criminal code involving firearms which was approved on May 1.

They are asking the feds to look further into supporting crime reduction initiatives rather than spend approximately $1 billion in buying back civilian-owned firearms compared to their initial quote of $600 million.

Coun. Keith Griffiths said, “They are going to use my money to buy my gun. Why are they targeting the rest of us?”

Coronation council agreed with the letter, passing a motion to give a letter of support towards this.

ECAA fire assistance
A letter from chair George Glazier of the East Central Ambulance Association (ECAA) was reviewed.

He outlined the changes that ECAA has recently made to provide a more effective service to residents within the region.

ECAA has amended billing and will be removing charges for services to the municipalities and region.

In the past, they were charging the municipality for calls and for being on standby during fire assists.

Callouts involving homes and property were also charged out. However, ECAA has indicated that though the correspondence received from Alberta Health Services (AHS) that they will no longer be paying for these services.

As well, the municipality will not be charging ECAA for co-medical assists.

AHS is expected to take over all ambulance systems this year which has alarmed Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s Chair Barry Morishita as this system change came with a lack of consultation to the group.

Council accepted this as information.

Later in the meeting, Coun. Jackie Brigley mentioned her concerns of the fire department radios as they have not been working for at least a month.
“It’s been so many years of continuing this problem,” she said.

CAO Flint believes that after many years of use, the dishes on the water tower that distribute the signal have become patchy which is an indicator they are slowly reaching their end of life.

A request to purchase new dishes will be presented in the future once quotes and weights are obtained.

Railway Ave. letter to purchase
Crystal Steadman put in a $2,000 offer to buy Lot 19-20 Block 1 Plan 8149AH – 5125 Railway Avenue.

The property is currently vacant and has been on the municipalities’ books for some years.

It was tested for asbestosis and was positive for percent>75.PPM in the kitchen tiles where grout is visible.

The lot is also classified as per the Land Use Bylaw as a C-1 (Commercial -1).

This would require the council to specify or enter into an agreement to allow a residential dwelling to remain on the lot or to have it removed from the Commercial District.

“The value doesn’t even cover the cost of the lot either,” said Coun. Shelley Cook.Council declined the offer.

Mobile trailer amendment
Council received a request from Mr. Minji Ong regarding the land use bylaw as it prohibits the importing of a mobile home or modular home that exceeds the age of 20 years.

The current proposed trailer is just over 20 years of age but has been extensively renovated and updated in the interior and exterior.“We already declined somebody else so I don’t think we can accept this one either,” said Coun. Cook.A motion to decline was carried.

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.