Town of Lumsden Council Meeting - Investigating alternatives after RM says No to firearm bylaw

·6 min read

RM says no to Town’s Bylaw Request

After a ricocheting bullet from an RM property landed near an area where the public frequents, the town asked the RM to consider adopting a bylaw to assist them around this safety concern. The CAO reported the council for the RM discussed the matter over two meetings and had Sgt Chad Clark of the Lumsden RCMP attend a meeting. The RM council decided they would support a landowner’s rights to protect their animals from harm. The CAO explained the bullets were from people dealing with gophers on a property and because gophers make holes and those holes are a hazard to horses, they would not pass a bylaw.

Councillor Longmoore asked how the RM considered the operation of the firearm was occurring safely. The CAO said that council had not considered careless use of a firearm and didn’t know the intricate details of the incident. Councillor Jim Rawlings noted the difficulty in proving careless use of a firearm.

Mayor Matheson said he understood the town council was asking the RM to pass a law in the RM; however, if that didn’t occur, they would look at passing a law that would extend beyond the town’s boundaries. The CAO said she wasn’t sure about the legalities of making bylaws that would extend into other jurisdictions, but they would look into it. Councillor Barber said he didn’t believe they had any authority beyond the town’s boundaries.

Councillor Rhonda Phillips supported mayor Matheson’s position, noting that she found the RM’s position extremely disappointing. There continues to be some confusion as to the legalities around pest control vs hunting. Councillor Jenelle Brennan suggested that the town complete more research into their options because they have more responsibility.

Council directed administration to look into the matter and report back

Boulevard Leases

The request for a municipal boulevard lease for Free Bird was approved by council.

Council discussed the amendment to the municipal boulevard lease for Lumsden Valley Pizza. As additional work needed to be addressed before the council would approve an amendment, the council sent it back to Planning and Development. Director Bryck would bring it back for the next meeting of council.

Care Home

There was a discretionary use development application before council for a care home in the Canyon Creek Subdivision. Notices were sent to property owners within 75 meters of the boundary of the proposed use. The council received three submissions and a few inquiries. The care home is a large single detached residential dwelling for up to five care home residents and a family of six who will live at the property. The house will conform to the architectural requirements of the area.

Planning and Development Director Aimee Bryck explained that care homes are listed as a discretionary use in Lumsden for concerns around parking. However, as the lots are large at Canyon Creek and there will be no additional staff, this is not a concern for this application.

Several councillors noted that it wouldn’t have come to the council if the home would’ve been fostering children. Director Bryck pointed out that the city of Regina changed their bylaws for care homes to be a permitted use as opposed to a discretionary use. If the owner sells the property in the future, it would be sold as a single-detached home, and the designation of being a care home would not go with it.

Council approved the application.

Group 1 Committee Report

The committee looked at increasing swimming fees to offset costs. Councillor Jenelle Brennan provided information around the fee increase. She said that the revenue brought in was approximately $13,000 and expenses around $16,000. The committee looked at the costs of similar programs. They decided to increase the fees to from $35 to 45$ per swimmer and from $100 to $120 per family. Council passed the motion for the fee increase.

The committee asked the town to look into the costs of improving the dike trail, potentially putting in an asphalt surface on the North and South sides. Mayor Matheson said there would be multiple benefits of paving the surfaces. Council made a motion for the administration to investigate costs.

The Health District has approved the license for the town to operate the campground with positive reviews for the cleanliness of the washroom buildings. There are no updates if the canteen will open under current pandemic regulations.

Community Coordinator Chris Exner is looking at dates for the scarecrow festival. A potential date of September 25th is being considered. Costs associated with the festival are around $5000.

The irrigation is in place for the ball diamonds. In addition, Minor ball has ordered digital scoreboards for the diamonds for which they have raised funds.

The trail bridge project west of Lumsden is underway. Fabrication of the bridge and foundation will be in July and August. With targeted completion by the end of September.

A contractor has pruned the trees at Riverpark and around the campground and buildings.

The swim program will be happening again with two pools in use. They are hoping to receive a third and will have around 300 participants. The tentative dates for the program are July 5-16 and August 3-13.

There is the potential for a future community garden as a resident is willing to allow the use of some land for the purpose.

There were two requests from residents to provide a swimming pool in the community. Councillor Tumbach noted they had asked the administration for more preliminary information for the September meeting. Councillor Barber said the town of Indian Head had just put in a new pool, and the town of Balgonie had just completed a significant upgrade of theirs. These towns may be able to provide information to assist Administration in information gathering.

Communications

The council received a letter from the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority reminding that all door-to-door sellers are required to obtain a direct sellers license from the Province. If someone has a seller come to their home, they recommended people ask to see their provincial direct seller’s licence.

The RM of Pense sent a communication asking that Lumsden not vote in favour of the name change for SUMA.

Office Update

The CAO, Monica Merkosky, said that 70% of the staff are back to working on site. The CAO will be developing a back-to-work strategy with vaccinations rolling out, preferring to give the most recent staff member a few weeks of experience with the office closed so she can provide the best customer service possible when reopening. The CAO said she prefers the office to be open once tax notices go out.

Bylaws

Council passed all three readings for the mill rate and mill rate factor bylaw.

Council also passed all three readings for the recreation fees.

The next meeting of the council is on June 8th.

Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Last Mountain Times