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Bi bylaw officer still seeing steady call volume amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted on June 4, 2020 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward


Bow Island bylaw officer Jason Schreiber has stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been interesting, but at the same time it’s been busy as well,” said Schreiber.
“I seem to be keeping up with all the complaints getting phoned in. Instead of having one-on-one complaints reported to me, everything seems to be going over the phone now or email, which is good to reduce contact.”
The numbers include 11 complaints of traffic violations in March and 14 in April.
“That’s higher than normal,” he said.
“On average, sometimes we’ll see between eight to 10 on the high end. But they’ve seemed to have gone up quite a bit in the last couple of months.”
Schreiber says he would have thought that with everybody staying home and keeping themselves safe, that some of the bylaw issues would go down.
However, that has been when some of the other calls have been going up such as dogs at large, barking dogs and parking.
“I don’t know what’s been going on lately but everybody seems to be breaking a few parking bylaws with parking facing the wrong way and it seems to be going up in the last month,” said Schreiber.
“On the municipal enforcement end of it, I’ve been handing out warnings so far more so than issuing tickets. That being said, if an individual is a repeat violator of the same contravention after they’ve been warned, then they are going to be issued a ticket.”
He says there are traffic concerns with the Traffic Safety Act.
“We’ve also seen increase in people parking in disability parking that don’t have a permit. That’s another one I’ve seen an increase of and (drivers) parking their heavy trucks at their properties, which they’re not allowed to in residential areas.”
The most tickets he wrote for March and April were to those people that were impeding the back allies.
“They’re passenger vehicles in the back alley and leave for an extended period of time,” he said.
Schreiber said he has been trying to be more understanding and looking for more compliance.
He has been keeping in contact with businesses about following restrictions.
“With all the COVID-19 items going on, the restrictions and everything, I’ve been helping out with phoning up and doing follow-up calls with businesses to makes sure they’re complying with the restrictions and posting notices. It varies from day-to-day but for the most part it’s balanced itself out.”
Aside from following up on expired business and dog licenses, he has been busy with going over the list of last year’s unsightly properties.
He said he has been going back during the spring months to see if they have been cleaned up and owners have improved their property condition.
He anticipates that the summer will be quieter than in past years.
“I know in the past we’ve had concerns with everybody travelling for holidays throughout the summer,” he said.
“They would leave their properties unmaintained, which turns into weed concerns. Everybody seems to be doing pretty good with working on their properties. I think this summer the properties are going to look good.”

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