Thorold to hire 2 more bylaw officers

·2 min read

Thorold's bylaw department is getting a few more bodies, at least for now.

At the April 20 council meeting, council received a report recommending the city temporarily increase the number of bylaw enforcement officers in the city.

The report, presented by Jason Simpson, chief building official for the City of Thorold, recommended that the town hire two additional bylaw officers until September and approve a $2,000 budget overrun for computer software required for licensing for the proposed positions.

Per the report, there is a possibility of extension of the positions given the increased demand due to COVID-19. The report states that the bylaw enforcement division has been able to manage the increased workload thus far by way of providing overtime shifts to bylaw officers and decreasing coverage during the week to accommodate limited coverage on the weekends.

“This work plan is no longer sustainable as employees have become burnt out due to the increased hours, workload, stresses associated with the current pandemic and the increased workload associated with the approaching warm weather,” the report reads.

“After review of the situation, staff have identified the need to retain two additional bylaw enforcement officers as casual employees to temporarily assist in providing appropriate coverage during the week as well as providing coverage over the weekends.”

Currently, the Thorold bylaw enforcement has two to three officers on duty each day of the week, one officer on Saturdays and no coverage on Sundays. According to the report, an addition of two more bylaw enforcement officers will allow the division to provide additional officers on duty each day, including Sundays.

Funding for the proposed positions will be provided by the Safe Restart contribution made by the Government of Canada. The Safe Restart Agreement is a federal investment over $19 billion across the country to help provinces and territories restart their economy in the wake of the pandemic. However, this would not cover the cost licensing the officers, thus the budget overage.

After deliberation from council about the necessity of bylaw officers, which bylaws specifically the officers would enforce and the reason for the overages, council voted unanimously in favour of receiving the report.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News