Fort Smith Council briefs

Fort Smith Council briefs

Mayor Janie Hobart in chair with Councillors Kevin Smith, Chris Westwell, Brenda Johnson, Claudette James, Sheila Sauteur-Chadwick, Bernie Minute and Ron Holtorf. Absent: Brad Marta.

Lot development tender issued

Council unanimously issued a tender for the development of 18 lots in the Westgrove subdivision to install water, sewer, roads and to excavate land in preparation for power installation. Council also approved allocating $2,400 to cover the cost of leasing a storage space for the ambulance service.

Helmet bylaw for cyclists

The new helmet bylaw passed third and final reading. The law requires everyone riding a bicycle within town limits to wear a helmet or face a fine, regardless of age. Abstaining (over enforcement concerns) were Holtorf and Johnson.

Skateboarder helmets bylaw

Senior administrative officer (SAO) Brenda Black noted the town is in the process of preparing a bylaw requiring skateboarders to wear helmets.

Landfill fees amended bylaw

A bylaw amending  fees at the landfill was unanimously passed. The only rate affected has been the elimination of the $5 fee for battery drop-offs. The other rates have not changed, but the fee categories have been updated.

Property clean-up bylaw

The Unsightly Lands bylaw giving the town the ability to clean up unsightly properties passed third and final reading. Cr. Westwell raised concerns about subjectivity in determining what is considered unsightly, and whether it may lead to people being fined unjustly. Holtorf added that the bylaw should be enforced with discretion, especially in cases where people are elderly or physically unable to address the town’s concerns. Black noted an appeal process is in place. The mayor stated the spirit of the bylaw is to encourage everyone in the community to respect their neighbours and realize that property values are affected by the unsightliness of a neighbour’s house.

Budget bylaw

Council unanimously approved a motion to move to a third reading of the Budget bylaw which, if passed, would give the public the opportunity to review the proposed 2011 budget. Black noted that the revised budget now includes grants the town received from the territorial government and estimates received for sidewalk repairs and construction.iiiiiiiii

New consultant hired

Council unanimously tabled a motion for further discussion of a Request for Proposal from consultant Sidney O’Sullivan. She will work with the SAO to review the town’s bylaws and policies to determine whether they are relevant and enforceable. Any questionable bylaws will be presented to council with her recommendations. She will be the fourth consultant currently under contract with the Town of Fort Smith.


A $100 honorarium was approved for Minute and Holtorf and the four public members of the ad hoc committee to review councillors salaries. They are Chris DeWolf, Nick Kaeser, Leon Peterson and Stella Walterhouse.

From the mayor

At the end of the meeting, the mayor informed council that measures have been taken to deal with the current fire hazard. Daily meetings, closed to the public, are being held with senior members of the emergency response team to discuss the current fire situation. An emergency hotline (872-8408) has been created and Facebook and Twitter accounts will be set up for the public to hear current updates. An emergency evacuation registration form was released to facilitate an orderly evacuation if needed.

Northern Journal

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