by Tristan Turner
Council held their regular meeting Jan. 26. Present were Mayor Lisa Holmes, Deputy Mayor Rob Ladouceur, and Councillors Gord Putnam Stephen Dafoe, Brennan FitzGerald, and Barry Turner.
Council defers animal control bylaw – yet again
In a unanimous decision – excluding the absent Councilor Boudestein – Council has voted to defer once again giving Second Reading to the Animal Control Bylaw. The vote came after a motion from Councillor Dafoe who was concerned Administration had not implemented any changes from what was heard at the public hearing and discussed at Committee of the Whole.
“This Bylaw doesn’t reflect what we’ve been hearing [in the community]”, he said, adding he felt the document was unchanged from the one presented at First Reading.
The legislation, which has been the subject of much public debate regarding new rules that would allow chickens and other exotic pets, will be coming back to Council in April. Changes to cat enforcement has also been a major area of dispute in the Bylaw.
Silencing train whistles in town wouldn’t hike insurance, needs $20K to do study
Following an information request at a previous meeting from Councillor Stephen Dafoe, Director of Corporate Operations at the town, David Schafer, confirmed what it will cost the Town to stop train whistles within Town limits.
While there would likely be no liability insurance hikes for the Town, it would cost approximately $20,000 to get a complete official engineering survey done on every train crossing in the community, along with complete estimates for what would be required to bring each one up to code.
Each crossing could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $250,0000 to get them up to regulatory standards required for silent trains. However, there may be both provincial and federal grants that could be applied to these projects, and the engineering survey would identify which grants the Town may be eligible for, Schafer told Council.
Councillor Stephen Dafoe and Councillor Gord Putnam thanked Schafer for the report, but no action was taken on it at this time.
Dafoe commented that Council often hears complaints about train whistles and that the report now puts all the information into the public realm on what would be involved to end the whistles. Dafoe moved to accept the report as information, stating the time was not right for a $20,000 study. However, he didn’t rule it out if the public thinks it’s acceptable.
Councillor Gord Putnam commented that “this type of information makes it easy [for Council to decide on issues like this],” and that he hopes to see similar thorough reports in the future.
Council receives Emergency Preparedness report
Council has received a report on the Town’s emergency preparedness following an information request from Councillor Brennan FitzGerald who had questions about the Town’s preparedness for facing extreme weather events, including floods, in the face of climate change’s increasing impact on dramatic weather events.
David Shafer and Public Works Director Claude Valcourt gave the report, stating that the Town is unique in its capacity to deal with extreme weather, including flooding, thanks to major emergency preparedness organizations nearby, active staff training, good public works equipment and new emergency preparedness agreements being developed with the county.
Schafer had no recommendations for action at this time, and Councillor FitzGerald thanked Schafer for the report.