Council bumps up bylaw enforcement

The city will beef up its bylaw enforcement after council allocated funding in its 2015 budget

The city will beef up its bylaw enforcement after council allocated funding in its 2015 budget to ramp up those services.

The decision was made Wednesday morning during city council’s third day of budget deliberations.

City staff had budgeted for the extra services in 2017 but Coun. Larry Samson proposed council move the $67,966 for bylaw enforcement up to 2015.

“We’ve talked about this for the last three years and we just about had the position last year,” Samson said. “We’ve talked about graffiti, we’ve talked about cleaning up our downtown, we’ve talked about always just answering complaints instead of being pro-active. To put this position off two years, I don’t think is advantageous to our city.”

City Clerk Peter Wipper confirmed to council that the city currently has a one-half bylaw enforcement officer position and that the approximately $68,000 would bring that up to one position. Wipper said the funding will also provide for another vehicle as well as allow the city to continue downtown parking controls by contractor Robbins Parking Service.

The city hired Robbins last June at a cost of $1,579 per month to crack down on people parking illegally in the downtown core.

As was reported in Wednesday’s Mirror, Robbins handed out 99 warnings in its first three weeks of operation before it began issuing tickets.

In total, 683 tickets were given out to motorists who committed parking infractions downtown.

A bylaw enforcement report released by the city last week, showed that bylaw complaints have been on the rise over the last three years.

Samson said that’s justification for addressing the lean bylaw enforcement department now rather than later.

“As we see the workload for the current bylaw officer, I think this position is sorely needed,” Samson said.

The city last year responded to 414 bylaw complaints.