Golf cart bylaw would not supersede provincial law

Written by Brenda Schimke

A possible bylaw to allow golf carts on village streets was resolved at the regular Delburne council meeting June 28, 2022.

Anthony Purgas, Delburne’s lawyer, was in attendance via zoom and confirmed miniature vehicles which includes golf carts, are disallowed on municipal streets under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act and a bylaw does not supersede provincial legislation.

Further, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Karen Fegan reported that the village’s insurance company advised that if Delburne had a bylaw in place that allowed golf carts on their streets, contrary to provincial legislation and an incident occurred, the village’s liability insurance would be null and void.

CAO Fegan said such an eventuality could bankrupt the village.
In the best interests of the village, council will not proceed with a golf cart bylaw. On the other hand, municipalities do and can allow unregistered miniature vehicles to operate on municipal property.

Abandoned buildings
Council was seeking clarification from Anthony Purgas as to whether a municipality had the right to require insurance on abandoned buildings.  A query that arose when an abandoned building in Delburne burned and caused damage to a neighbour’s property.

Purgas said that municipalities have the power and authority to regulate how people maintain properties and buildings, but how people protect their property and the property of others moves beyond municipal authority.

Purgas will do further research and will review Delburne’s nuisance bylaw to strengthen it as much as possible.

Tax sale auction
An unanimous motion was made to put Plan 4781BK, Block 16, Lot 24 up for tax sale auction at the assessed value of $246,000.

CAO Fegan presented a draft policy and explained the village has never had a policy setting out parameters for choosing a business representative for the Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) board. Currently our representative lives in the county.

In addition to Delburne residency, council was keen for that representative to be more accountable by requiring regular reporting to council. A revised draft will be brought to next month’s meeting.

Pavilion in the park
Lots of people have been calling the village office to book the pavilion in the park.

There are also other issues such as noise, enforcement, etc. that will need to be decided upon. Council referred this discussion to the Committee of the Whole.

Private property cleanup
“We are losing money”, said Public Works Foreman, Gary Rusaw. “The fees have been so cheap that people are happy to let the village staff do their snow, weeds and mowing.”

A bylaw will be drafted proposing an increased base fee and more appropriate fees for the use of village equipment.

Electricity commitment
The village has signed up for the Alberta Municipalities Power+ which allows access to energy pricing from the source producer and eliminates middleman costs. It starts in 2023.

Solar lights for dog park
Administration will continue to investigate possible options as the two quotes received appeared high.

It was noted ATCO could be approached as they have contributed to projects like this in other communities. The CAO will do additional digging.

Brenda Schimke
ECA Review

About the author

Brenda Schimke

Schimke is a Graduate with Distinction from the University of Alberta with a BCom degree. She has lived and worked in Alberta, BC and Ontario.