Council discusses fairly enforcing bylaw requiring residents to shovel snow

·1 min read

Sexsmith Coun. Isak Skjaveland expressed opposition to a snow and ice removal bylaw because some seniors or people with disabilities may have difficulty clearing snow.

Council had enacted the bylaw in September, making it clearer than the old bylaw that residents need to shovel in residential areas.

Failure to remove snow from a commercial or residential property can result in a fine of $100 (first offence) or $200 (second offence), according to the bylaw.

A resident who doesn’t clear snow or ice from a roof or awning may also face a fine of $100 (first offence) or $200 (second offence) under the bylaw.

During council's meeting Mayor Kate Potter noted the bylaw states peace officers have discretion in enforcing the bylaw when residents are unable to shovel.

This discretion can prevent discrimination against seniors or people with disabilities, she said.

Mayor Potter also said the town has the snow angels, a Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program under which volunteers shovel snow for Sexsmith residents.

The snow angels program isn’t well used but FCSS is continuing to offer the service, she said.

Coun. Bruce Black suggested promoting the snow angels on the town website or in print to create better awareness of the program.

The impetus for the discussion was amendments tabled that add a definition of a pedestrian to the bylaw, as a person on foot or in a mobility aid.

Coun. Clint Froehlick’s motion to give the amendments passage was carried.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News