Property complaints citizen driven

Residents of Forestburg will be required to continue making formal complaints regarding unsightly properties following the defeat of a motion to have administration enforce the bylaws at the Town of Forestburg council’s regular meeting on Thurs. May 16.

In 2016, administration was directed to not enforce bylaws unless a written complaint was received from a resident.

There have been concerns that some properties are becoming unsightly or hazardous and that issues are not being dealt with in a timely manner.

Coun. Elaine Fossen moved to rescind this directive which would allow administration to act on bylaw infractions, even if they are only noted by staff.

Forestburg celebrates its Centennial this summer and many would like the community to look inviting to all those who will be visiting.

Utility Rates Bylaw amended After three readings, council approved to rescind the Utility Rates Bylaw in an effort to ensure that utility expenses are fully cost-recovered within utility rates.

In the previous budget, council determined that no change would occur within the utility rates because the potential losses seen by water and sewer would be covered by garbage rates.

After further review, administration determined that the budget needed to be increased for maintenance, frozen water lines and to increase the sewer reserves, which were very low.

Council believes that the cost of providing utilities should be covered fully by the utility user and should not be subsidized by property taxes.

Amended rates in the new bylaw are as follows: water rates will remain the same but sewer usage rate, $0.65 per cubic meter and $7.50 monthly fee, up from $5.50, garbage monthly rate will increase to $35.80 from $32.50, and $16.25 for additional living units within a property.

Commercial properties who contract directly with Flagstaff Regional Solid Waste Management will not be charged a monthly rate.

There will also be a $100 connection/disconnection fee charged when it is requested by a property owner for non-payment of utility charges.

Drones regulated

Village administration researched a request made by a resident concerned with inappropriate use of drones equipped with cameras as they wanted to know if any bylaws would be put into place by the village to combat this.

It was found that drones are regulated by Transport Canada, therefore the village has no authority to place any bylaws outside of federal regulations and as such the ability of the

Bylaw Enforcement Officer would be limited in this regard.

Current regulations concerning drones can be found on the Transport Canada website.

Campground reservations

Deputy Mayor Coutts requested that council discuss having someone to take reservations for the two campgrounds in Forestburg.

“I think we could lose crews working in the area because we don’t offer this service [reservations] and it is not good when we have special events in our community,” said Coutts.

“I’m not saying the office needs to take bookings, but possibly we could hire someone and they could get a commission on any bookings they do?”

Administration will be looking for proposals for someone to handle reservations and will be researching the cost of supplying WiFi to all of the campsites as a way to attract more long term campers.

Marketing Plan

Council was in favour of a motion made by Deputy Mayor Coutts to invite local real estate agents to make a proposal to sell the upcoming 13 lots in the new subdivision on the west side of the village.

Each lot will be under $100,000 and development will continue throughout the summer.

Donation request denied Village council denied a request from Forestburg Power Sports Association 1/8 Mile Club for $2,500.

The funding was to sponsor five feet of track in their effort to develop a first class racing facility located at the old airport.

Administration was concerned as the village already contributes to the Power Sports Association by allowing the group to utilize the land at no cost, covering the cost of building and liability insurance for the facility and providing a grant equal to the amount of revenue received for haying the land every summer.

Street closed for swim meet in June

A request was received from the Forestburg Aquanauts Swim Team to temporarily close the road in front of the swimming pool from June 21 to June 22 for their annual swim meet.

The request was approved by council so the village will set up bleachers and provide barricades for the event.

Council approved an operating grant for the Forestburg Swimming Pool Society in the amount of $59,990 as per the 2019 budget.


Jody Pettigrew

ECA Review

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