Published: April 12, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
The lack of a bylaw enforcement authority within the Township of Ear Falls is undoing years of community beautification work and affecting property values, says one resident.
Making a designation to leaders at the Regular Council Meeting on Apr. 5 resident Ron Bergman said a dispute with a neighbour over property standards has yet to be resolved due to the lack of bylaw enforcement on behalf of the municipal government.
“It is very upsetting to me all the work that was done by previous council, by present council, in regards to the ever important enacting of bylaws has now become redundant in their purpose. The lack of enforcement has made them redundant.”
The Township of Ear Falls has been without a by-law enforcement official since 2011. Mayor Kevin Kahoot noted at the meeting, the issue was one of resources.
“We have had this discussion many, many times and the problem that we are all eluding to is resources. Number one what can a small community afford as far as financially. We are in the same boat that Ignace is, Sioux Lookout is…and so on. As you get smaller and smaller and smaller and costs go up things fall off the table obviously.
Bergman says he has been told that letters have been sent in regards to his neighbourhood, however there are no consequences attached to non-compliance.
“I find it disturbing that all the years that Council put into establishing bylaws of varying degrees to make our community a fine place to live and find out that there are no… maybe some letters in the mail, but there is no repercussions if you don’t follow or comply with the bylaw.”
Bergman called on Council to explore enforcement options with neighbouring communities or engaging off-duty police officers in enforcement contracts.
Councillor Daniel Sutton responded to the recommendations noting a request to share bylaw enforcement personnel with the Municipality of Red Lake was “swiftly and hardly” rejected.