The City signs an agreement with the special sectors for the application of the by-laws

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Adrian Mohl retired in December 2021, leaving a hole in the municipal office where he had served in several roles.

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Its many responsibilities had been divided between departments or outsourced to external sources, but one remaining responsibility was that of enforcing regulations.

At the Feb. 8 board meeting, Chief Executive Kim Neill noted that the administration had worked with Special Zone representatives and developed a plan for services to be provided by Special Zone peace officers on a contractual basis.

Neill noted that the officers are appointed by the Solicitor General and Alberta Public Safety and have broader jurisdiction than Mohl as a bylaw enforcement officer.

A memorandum of understanding had been drawn up between the two and approved by the Special Zones Council at their January 25 meeting.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • The agreement will enter into force on March 1, 2022 and will be reviewed on an annual basis.
  • The cost of peace officer services provided by the Special Areas Board will be $100/hour.
  • It is anticipated that Special Zones will provide an average of eight (8) hours of Peace Officer services per week. This time will include patrol time, administration, court time, and any other associated time related to law enforcement duties for the City of Hanna
  • Special areas will provide a report to the City of Hanna quarterly or sooner if required.
  • Special areas will provide general liability insurance coverage to cover the performance of peace officer services on behalf of the City of Hanna.
  • Peace Officers will adhere to the guidelines of the Solicitor General’s Peace Officer Program Policy and Procedures Manual while providing these services to the City.
  • Peace officers will not process anonymous complaints.

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“They deal with dangerous dogs, animal welfare and animal control, but will not provide animal capture services,” Neill noted.

“So who should capture the dogs?” asked councilor Sandra Murphy.

“Fortunately, we don’t have many dogs on the loose,” Neill noted.

“Usually 99 times out of 100 they are found and located and back home before we even know it.”

“That’s something we’ll have to watch out for in the future.”

Councilman Gerald Campion asked about reporting hours, noting that the city’s number was only monitored Monday through Friday. Neill responded by noting that there were people on call and if an issue reached a more urgent level than normal they would respond, but generally most settlement issues were not urgent.

Murphy expressed concerns that some businesses in the community are unlicensed. She noted that in her business she had people who would buy business cards, so she knew people who had not yet obtained a license.
Neill noted that the city doesn’t police the businesses, so having a licensed business doesn’t mean it’s safer than others that weren’t. Murphy noted that having them licensed would ensure they were in the directory so people could easily find contact information and the like. if they needed it.

The board discussed the fee, wondering if it might be an impediment. Neill noted that storefront businesses paid a $50 fee because they paid taxes on their stores, rent, etc., while home-based businesses paid a $100 fee because they paid no tax. additional taxes.

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Laurie Armstrong’s business and communications manager said one of the biggest benefits was when there were big projects in the community and surrounding large businesses checked the directory to see what was available locally.

Neill noted that business licenses would be a low priority for settlement, instead focusing on noise complaints, unsightly properties, garbage violations, etc.

Council unanimously passed the motion to close the deal.

“This joint approach to enforcement is another example of our good working relationship with special areas,” Mayor Danny Povachuk said after the decision was passed.

“Special Areas and the City of Hanna have a long history of working together to serve our communities,” said Special Areas Council Municipal Services Manager Owen Francis.

“This Law Enforcement Services Agreement is just one example of our commitment to providing services in a cost effective and efficient manner. We are excited to see how this partnership will evolve over time and are committed to working with the City to ensure residents’ needs continue to be met.

“This agreement with the Special Areas Commission gives the City flexibility and provides enforcement services for situations that cannot be handled by other City departments,” concluded Neill.

“Special Areas Community Peace Officers, under the direction of the City of Hanna, will focus their time on municipal bylaws and enforcement issues.”

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About Michael C. Lovelace

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