Four options for bylaw protection services were presented to village council during a recrnt meeting. (Eddie Huband photo/Lakes District News)

Four options for bylaw protection services were presented to village council during a recrnt meeting. (Eddie Huband photo/Lakes District News)

Bylaw enforcement options presented to village council

Director of protective services wants a more proactive approach

Burns Lake Director of Protective Services Robert Krause made a presentation to village council on Oct. 12 to outline ways to improve bylaw enforcement.

“One of the key things council needs to decide is what form they would like bylaw enforcement to take in the community,” said Krause during the presentation.

The RDBN’s current bylaw officer is Darrel Hill. According to RDBN Director of Planning Jason Llewellyn, Hill’s responsibilities are enforcing regional district bylaws such as land use and zoning, as well as the unsightly premises bylaw. Hill is also full time employee, however, through an agreement with the District of Houston, he spends half of his time enforcing bylaws in Houston. The District of Houston is contributing a maximum of $57,600 a year to Hill’s salary.

Llewellyn also explained that the Hill isn’t responsible for enforcing any bylaw infraction that occurs within the municipal boundaries of Burns Lake or any other town, as that responsibility falls on the local government. Houston is an exception because they have contracted Hill’s services as seperate from his RDBN duties.

Krause, who is currently responsible for bylaw enforcement duties in Burns Lake, believes that in the current system, the village is reacting to complaints and representations, instead of getting out in front of them.

He outlined that village council could either stay status quo, which is a reactive approach to bylaw enforcement where a complaint is made and then action is taken when appropriate, or they could move to a more proactive bylaw enforcement where there would be an effort to actively seek out and enforce bylaws that are on the books.

Two options for each direction were presented by Krause. In terms of standing pat in their approach, the first option council could choose is to stay in their current complaint driven model by completing the ticketing bylaw by March of 2022, and completing the updates to all relevant bylaws by November of 2022 to allow for tickets as an enforcement action.

The second option given by Krause was similar to option one, only an agreement would be made with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) to provide bylaw enforcement services under contract one day per week. The cost of doing this would be $24,000 for the year, and would remain reactive and complaint driven according to Krause.

Should council choose to change to a proactive approach, Krause provided another two options that would incur more cost to the protective services budget. The first is creating a part-time bylaw officer positron, that would deal with complaints but also seek out bylaw infractions and take appropriate action.

The cost for this, according to Krause, would be $48,921 yearly, for salary and operating expenses.

The second option given to council, which was the proposed best choice by Krause, was to create a full-time bylaw officer position for a cost of $85,428 per year. This position would be responsible for bylaw enforcement, protective services duties and emergency program coordination.

Krause made it clear to council that should they approve the option to create a full-time position, it wouldn’t be final. All that would happen is a recommendation would be made to the 2022 budget, and council would have the opportunity at that time to make a final decision regarding budget implications.

READ MORE: Village council approves extra funding on top of grant

Though council was in agreement that a pro-active approach is a better route to go down, it was decided that more discussions needed to be had on the topic with Krause, and no decision was made at the time of the meeting.

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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