By J.W. Schnarr
For the Sunny South News
Community Standards Bylaw
Local residents in Coaldale will have another opportunity to engage council over what they want to see in their Community Standards Bylaw.
During a regular meeting on Mar. 27, Coaldale council heard from Mark Murphy, the town’s director of emergency services regarding the draft bylaw.
“Currently, the town has a number of bylaws in place dealing with community standards,” he said.
“Some of these bylaws were passed a number of years ago and need to be upgraded. Probably more importantly, some of these lack clarity, and so we wanted to upgrade these in a community standards bylaw, so both citizens and the Community Peace Officers, when they are doing their jobs, will have a better understanding of the bylaw when it comes to enforcement of it.”
Coaldale has engaged the community on the issue, including an online survey followed by a community open house, which took place in February.
Survey results and feedback was received from more than 200 citizens, including 92 written comments. That input was then considered, and changes were made to the proposed bylaw. The draft bylaw includes seven sections, including unsightly property, public behaviour, noise, fires, inspection, and orders to remedy and powers of peace officers.
Murphy said because the new bylaw will encompass such a broad range of subjects, he felt it was important for the town to hold a public hearing on the draft bylaw.
He noted during a previous engagement session, only two people showed up.
“My recommendation is council approved first reading of the new bylaw, and set a date for a subsequent public hearing prior to second and third reading,” he said.
During discussion, Deputy Mayor Jack Van Rijn asked about the number of “junk” vehicles — which would be allowed on a property, and Murphy said the draft bylaw would make no allowances for those kinds of vehicles.
Van Rijn also asked about the rate of fine for fireworks, which he said was the lowest fine in the draft but represented one of the most dangerous activities.
Murphy replied he was unsure how those fines were established in the draft.
Coun. Bill Martens asked about the length of time in which recreation vehicles could be parked only between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving Day, and for no more than 72 hours before they needed to be moved for 48 hours.
“Those two seem in conflict with each other unless I read it wrong,” he said.
Murphy replied the vehicles could be left during the months between the holidays specified, as long as they met the 72/48 requirements.
“In the past, people would leave them out and they might go away for a weekend, and then leave it parked, and two weeks later go for the weekend,” Martens said.
“They’re not allowed to do that anymore under this (draft) bylaw.”
“Not in this bylaw, no,” replied Murphy.
Following discussion, council passed first reading, as Coun. Sherri Duda opposed.
Council then set a public hearing for the Apr. 24 council meeting.
Coaldale’s 2017 Capital Projects list includes a number of road, sewer, and town facility upgrades.
During their regular meeting on Mar. 27, council received their Capital Projects list for the upcoming year, totalling more than $3.6 million in expected costs.
Some of the projects include: 9A Street surface work upgrades to replace bulging asphalt present on both sides of the road. The resurfacing needs to be done to protect the road base from further degradation.
A micro seal pilot project has been proposed for some areas of Coaldale. Following completion of the project, the areas affected will be analyzed to see whether it is a viable option for some road issues in the town.
Fairway Drive sub-drains and concrete, which would install sub-drains along Fairway Drive in order to address chronic drainage and icing issues in the area. Underdrains could protect roadway structures from forming ice lenses during freeze-thaw cycles. Sewer lift station upgrades, as the main lift station pumps require an upgrade/replacement to accommodate the 20-year peak wet weather flow.
Pipe and linear repairs at the public pool, due to new safety regulations stating the town needs to upgrade and alter the distance between the floor drains of the pool. A full assessment of the mechanical and structural system of the pool is expected in May.
Arena basement repairs are planned in order to address water leakage and structural deficiencies to the basement of the pool and arena. Remedial upgrades are needed. A structural engineer has been engaged to conduct an analysis of the facility’s life cycle.
Community engagement sessions are planned for a multi-use recreation facility. It is hoped by engaging the community, groups can align behind the idea of a multi-use recreational facility, such as a second sheet of ice, indoor fieldhouse, or various other recreational rental spaces.
A Transportation Master Plan, which is needed for future planning and development of solutions to existing congestion issues and future growth areas.
It would allow the town to conduct its own traffic impact analyses, and do them on behalf of developers for a fee (recouping costs, while providing a service).
Phase II (a) of the Malloy Drain Implementation Project, in partnership with Lethbridge County and the St. Mary’s River Irrigation District, the Town of Coaldale will construct a number of storm water holding ponds along the west border of Coaldale to create in excess of 300,000 cubic metres of storage.
Other projects include investigation of pathway upgrades in Coaldale, accounting software upgrades, pump upgrades at the water distribution plant, fencing at the town shop, and turf improvements to the field at Kate Andrews High School.