Council not moving forward with off-highway vehicle bylaw

“We can bring in the bylaw, but we don’t have a practical way to enforce it.”

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

After conducting more research, Town of Castor administration has recommended that council not proceed with an off-highway vehicle bylaw.

CAO Christopher Robblee had been researching what would be required to bring in a bylaw which would allow off-highway vehicle use on town streets, and after reviewing his findings, he made his recommendation to council.

“We can bring in the bylaw, but we don’t have a practical way to enforce it,” said Robblee.

An off-highway vehicle bylaw which would allow quads, side-by-sides, and other register-able vehicles on town roads would cause a problem with enforcement.

The bylaw would need to follow the Traffic Safety Act, and upon implementation, RCMP would no longer respond to noise complaints in town, as off-highway vehicles would be seen as a bylaw issue, which they do not enforce.

“You would need a peace officer to enforce it,” said Robblee.

Another issue Robblee addressed in regard to a potential new bylaw had to do with golf-carts.

Council had requested a potential bylaw which would allow golf carts to be on Town-owned roads, however due to the fact that they are non-register-able vehicles through Alberta registries, regardless of how the bylaw was constructed, due to the Traffic Safety Act they would not be allowed on the roads.

“Everything must be registered to be on the roads,” said Robblee.

“You can’t register golf carts.”

Council has decided not to pursue the matter further at this time.

Other highlights of the Sept. 9th council meeting;

• Council has agreed to accept the ‘Chain of Office’ complete with the Town’s coat of arms, from Stewart Ford. Ford is having the item custom created and is donating it to the Town at an estimated cost of $5,200.

• CAO Christopher Robblee reviewed the results of the recent survey with council. Of the respondents, 38 per cent were in favour of same or more services in town, however 40 per cent disagreed with a tax increase in order to maintain or increase services. Around 50 participants took part in the survey.

• Castor council was notified that BREOC (Battle River Economic Opportunities Committee) has received a grant from Western Economic Diversification Canada in the amount of $2.7 million, allowing the organization to operate until 2023 or 2024.

• The County of Paintearth, which handles BREOC finances, is requesting that all BREOC partners contribute to expenses that are not eligible under the grant, costing around $3,500/year.

Castor would be responsible for about 10 per cent of total cost. Council has opted to request PEPS cover the funding of ineligible expenses, and if denied will discuss it further at the next council meeting.

• The Castor & District Museum has requested that the Town donate personnel and equipment to repair the concrete between the Museum and the Golden Circle, which was not installed properly, resulting in the new concrete being one-inch beneath the existing sidewalk and not allowing for proper drainage.

Council has requested that the Museum speak to their contractor about correcting the error.

• Council was informed that Castor’s Paintearth Lodge currently has 11 vacancies, resulting in shifts and hours being cut.

• Dep. Mayor Tony Nichols told Council that only six students applied for Ag. Society scholarships for this fall, compared to 16 in 2018.

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