Delia considers bylaw enforcement conundrum

Delia’s Feb. 8 council agenda included an examination of various bylaws as part of the Municipal Corporate Review.
Investigating Delia’s business licensing bylaw, CAO Mark Nikota indicated that the most recent business licensing bylaw dates back to 2011.
An assessment of surrounding municipalities shows each community handles licensing fees and enforcement differently.
Nikota offered no specific recommendations for Delia.
At the current fee of $25, Delia issued 17 licenses in 2017.
While most businesses apply and pay for a business license, a few conduct ongoing businesses in the village without taking out a license.
With no effective mechanism in place to enforce bylaws, council members questioned the need to issue licenses and asked why some business operators were not paying the licensing fee.
In favour of licensing, Mayor Sisley believes the village should have an idea of what kind of business is being conducted in the community, whether home-based or storefront.
Council agreed to table the issue for further study, directing administration to gather additional information.

Dog Bylaw
Council also reviewed Delia’s current bylaws concerning dogs in the village.
According to Nikota four separate bylaws pertaining to dogs need to be revised into one efficient and enforceable bylaw to better serve the community’s needs.
Issues related to licensing, behaviour problems, maximum number of dogs, and waste issues were examined.
Discussion of this bylaw again brought the problem of bylaw enforcement to centre stage.
With limited funds, viable enforcement options remain elusive to the municipality.
Delia has examined bylaw enforcement issues in the past without finding a practical solution.
Administration was directed to rewrite the existing bylaws and continue to examine effective enforcement strategies.

No change in utility rates
Council was unanimously in favour of the keeping utility service rates the same.
Net revenues from all utility rates and fees sit at $25,026 for 2017. Using the same fee structure they are budgeting net revenue of $24,604 for 2018.
After reviewing revenues and expenses with council, CAO Mark Nikota did not recommend any increases.
Mayor David Sisley concurred, stating that people are already hard pressed in these economic times.

Linda Stillinger
ECA Review

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