A new nighttime curfew for Sundre could go a long way towards reducing instances of petty mischief such as vandalism in town, councillors heard during last week's governance committee meeting.
Sundre RCMP Const. Abe Letkeman, left, and Sundre special constable Kevin Hereema have put together the proposed new bylaw No. 06.11.
The bylaw would give law enforcement personnel a tool to ensure youths and children are not wandering Sundre streets and causing trouble, said Letkeman.
“Three o'clock in the morning is not a safe time for kids or youths to be on the streets,” said Letkeman. “This bylaw could have an affect on those who bend the law.”
The bylaw updates the town's existing bylaw by doubling fines for parents and guardians found in violation.
Under the bylaw a curfew would be put in place making it unlawful for any person under the age of 16 (not 13 as reported last week) to be in any public place between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. without “proper and direct supervision” of a parent or legal guardian.
A public place is defined as any place where the public legally has free access, including any business property or store.
Any child (under 12 years of age) found in a public places during the curfew time may be warned to go home and if, after the warning, the child is found loitering he or she may be taken by a peace officer to the child's home or referred to an appropriate agency.
“The peace officer shall, in writing, inform the child's parent or guardian of the offence committed by the child and that peace officer may charge the parent or guardian of the child under (provisions) of the bylaw,” the bylaw states.
Any youth (12-15) found in violation of the bylaw would be told to go home and if he or she doesn't “may be taken by a peace officer to an appropriate agency, and is guilty of an offence and is liable to summary conviction to the fees (set out in the bylaw).”
Proposed penalties for second offences would be $100 fines to the parent, and four hours community service or a $50 fine for the youth. Fines and community service increase for subsequent offences.
“When the parent or guardian starts receiving a $200 fine they might realize its serious and that they might not want to be looking at a $400 fine,” he said.
The community service hours for the youth offenders start at four hours, increasing to 16 hours for fourth offences.
The community service “will be served on the next date, which is a scheduled day off from school, or a suitable date determined by the Town of Sundre. Community will be monitored by the Town of Sundre and/or delegate,” the bylaw states.
The community service hours are equivalent to $12 per hour, council heard.
Most of the enforcement of the bylaw would be by the RCMP, with the town special constable also contributing, council heard.
Councillor Paul Isaac said the bylaw will only be effective if it is enforced.
Asked if he believes fines will deter youth vandals, Letkeman said yes.
Councillor Tony Jordan said, “I support the initiative. It's a great idea.”
The proposed bylaw has been referred to this week's council meeting. First reading of the bylaw could come this week or June 13.
COUNCIL ASKED FOR INPUT ON WATER UTILITY BYLAW
Councillors will be making suggestions for updates or changes to the town's existing water utility bylaw.
Administration has asked for council input with a view to update the bylaw, which has been in place since 2001.
One of the issues councillors may want to consider is the future of water wells in town, said interim CAO Ryan Leuzinger.
Council input will be in within a month and will then be considered by administration in preparing an update bylaw.
ARENA MOTION COMING FORWARD
Councillors have instructed administration to present a request for decision to council regarding the issue of a new arena in town.
The town's facility's committee has been considering options, including forming a partnership with Jungle Jim Hunter Management, to bring a new arena to town.
To date, numerous presentations have been made by Hunter and others outline proposed plans for a new facility.
Interim CAO Leuzinger told council he would like to see a motion passed instructing administration to take a detailed look at the options open to Sundre.
Councillors instructed administration to bring forth a motion for consideration at this week's council meeting.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DISCUSS
Caption: Planning ahead - Bill Johnson, the town's Director of Emergency Management (left) and Ron Baker, the town's Director of Operations speak with council during last week's governance meeting.
Dan Singleton/Round Up
The Town of Sundre emergency response plans focus on three priorities, whether it's for a flood, fire or other situation, council heard.
Bill Johnson, the town's Director of Emergency Management, and Ron Baker, the town's Director of Operations, made a presentation to council during last week's governance meeting.
The presentation focused on council's role during emergency situations, as well as the role of emergency management personnel.
Johnson said that during an emergency council's job includes “providing policy direction, assisting to ensure necessary resources are available, formally requesting support from the provincial and federal governments, declaring a State of Local emergency, monitoring the media to ensure the message going out is correct, and acting as a spokesperson for the town.”
The top priorities in an emergency are saving lives and minimizing the impact on people; protecting property; and protecting the environment, he said.
The function of emergency management is mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, he said.
Emergency management takes place under the auspices of the Municipal Government Act and the Emergency Management Act.
The emergency management organization is headed by council, which directly oversees the municipal emergency management community, the director of emergency management and district officer of emergency management Alberta.
In the event of an emergency, “The emergency operations centre keeps the CAO or acting CAO advised of what is happening and that person keeps council informed or the EOC manager provides information directly to council.”
In the event of an emergency, emergency operations centres would be set up at council chambers or at the Sundre Golf Club.
Following the flooding emergency in 2005, a cellphone booster and radio antenna was installed at the golf club for use in future emergency situations, council heard.
Meanwhile, Johnson said officials have been monitoring the snowpack west of Sundre and indications are the snowpack is below average.
“We see nothing at this point to cause us concern,” he said.
The flooding in 2005 occurred as an extraordinary combination of heavy snowpack melting and more than a week of heavy rain in the district, he noted.