A focus on education and compliance is not so quietly being pushed toward wanting more tangible actions.
At Ponoka’s town council meeting Nov. 13, an update was provided regarding the status of bylaw enforcement in the community.
Mayor Rick Bonnett feels that if people are not cooperating and not getting back in touch, then further steps are warranted.
“If people aren’t coming back and contacting him (bylaw officer), I get where we do want to do the education and push that way to get people to comply, but if they aren’t returning calls, it’s time to start issuing tickets.”
Wes Amendt director of community services, added that with winter now arriving he anticipates a rise in complaints regarding snow removal and maintaining sidewalks.
Amendt outlined a report that showed 127 of the 155 files have been closed by the town’s bylaw enforcement contractor up to the end of October.
Of the current 28 open files left, two municipal tickets and one clean-up order has been issued while communication is ongoing on the others. Twelve of these current files relate to unsightly premises with several files in the process of having a ticket being issued.
“When we set up the contract, the main focus was on education and compliance. For the most part, that has been a very successful part of the role,” Amendt explained.
“There are several files he has been to repeatedly and there has been no action, and as much as we try to work on education, eventually enough is enough. In my opinion, the service has been effective with the time allocated.”
Additionally, Amendt noted there will need to be conversations about increasing the amount of time paid for bylaw enforcement as the contractor is presently not billing between four and six hours each week for doing such things as paperwork and other duties while not in town.