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Innisfail's Centennial Park litter complaint gets a look

Administration expected to bring back report to Town of Innisfail council sometime in March
MVT Centennial Park parking lot 3 winter 2022
The parking lot at Centennial Park during the winter of 2022. Innisfail town council has directed administration to take a look into a complaint of increasing litter issues at the parking lot. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL – Town administration will probe a councillor’s scathing complaint of increasing litter being spilled and tossed in the parking lot at Centennial Park.

On Feb. 14, Coun. Jason Heistad told council the problem has morphed into a “pigsty” and wanted to know if the town had received any complaints.

During council’s Feb. 22 regular meeting, Heistad put forward a motion directing administration to look into his complaint and have a report brought back to council. The motion was passed by council and administration is expected to report back sometime this month.

“I am happy there is a process in play for us to look at the Centennial Park garbage situation. Just being on council for the last four months and just being an every day citizen for the past couple of years, especially during COVID, it’s been an ongoing issue,” said Heistad, adding the intent of his motion was to go through the proper process with administration to have his concern dealt with.

“I wanted to make sure we are being proactive.”

During the Feb. 14 council meeting, Heistad also wanted to know whether security cameras at the park are being used to record unwarranted behaviour.

In 2019, council gave administration the green light to spend $8,000 on video security cameras to keep an eye on any potential anti-social behaviour. Council and administration had been looking at the park's security issue since a delegation presentation more than a year earlier proposed solutions to curb anti-social behaviour, which included litter problems.

Todd Becker, the town’s chief administrative officer, said he will ask Gary Leith, the town’s manager of fire and protective services, to provide council with historical background on the litter issue at Centennial Park, and actions taken by the town to address past concerns.

“Based on council’s direction, administration will be reporting back to council in the near future regarding some of the history and some of the corrective actions done to date in relation to some of the questionable activity at Centennial Park,” said Becker.

He said the cameras are still operating and used by the town.

“We don’t continuously monitor the cameras and the tapes,” said Becker. “When we’re notified of a questionable activity, we go into the tapes to determine what has occurred in the parking lot.”

He added that when there is a litter issue at the park, administration also relies on the community to contact the town when questionable activity is seen.

Becker said that while he personally does not always receive public complaints, he has not received any formal calls directed at him or council of litter problems at Centennial Park.

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