COUNCIL CLIPS: Final reading for deer bylaws, vital signs, family day and national park

Shara JJ Cooper
By Shara JJ Cooper
December 18th, 2013

Grand Forks city council gave the final readings to both repeal bylaw 1884 (the outgoing deer feeding bylaw) and the bylaw 1967, which replaces it.

The new bylaws will allow offenders to be ticketed for intentionally feeding deer within city limits. However, councillors Patrick O’Doherty and Michael Wirischagin opposed the final readings.

Wirischagin has been opposed to the new bylaw since the beginning. At the Dec. 16 meeting, he restated his concerns that the original bylaw wasn’t given enough time to work. The old bylaw focused on education and didn’t support ticketing offenders.

O’Doherty also expressed concerns about how ticketing will affect neighbourhood relationships. He told council that about 15 people had approached him with concerns that there might be fighting amongst neighbours when the new bylaw came into effect.

Chief administrative officer Doug Allin said that council could pass the bylaw but they didn’t need to start enforcing the ticketing section until council was ready. Councillors agreed that education is still the best method to stop people from feeding the deer.

Part of the education process is working with the recently hired, local WildSafeBC coordinator Laurie Grant, as she works reduce wildlife-human interactions.

When council voted on the bylaws, it was with the understanding that the bylaw would come before council again when it was time to start enforcing the ticketing.

Mayor Brian Taylor, councillors Neil Krog, Bob Kendel and Gary Smith all voted in favour. Wirischagin and O’Doherty were opposed. Coun. Cher Wyer wasn’t at the meeting.

Family day weekend

City council has agreed to add $2000 to the pot for the Family Day Weekend event that starts Feb. 8 next year. This is the second family day in BC and the city is planning a two-day event that will be held around the city. The plans are not finalized, but the tentative schedule includes outdoor hockey, hot dogs and hot chocolate, a movie at the GEM Theatre, bowling, free skiing at Phoenix Ski Hill, as well as free skating and skiing.

The goal is to keep the weekend free or affordable for families and has an estimated budget of $4500.

Taylor called the event worthwhile of the city’s support and said that their seemed to be growing excitement downtown.

South Okanagan Similkameen National Park

Council has decided to send a letter saying they are want to open a dialogue about the feasibility of a South Okanagan Similkameen National Park.

Wirischagin asked to clarify that the letter was only showing support for reopening a a conversation about the park, not necessarily showing support for the park itself. Council agreed and passed the motion.

Vital Signs

The Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities is looking to take part in the 2014 Vital Signs project. The project evaluates the needs of a community to see what areas are working and what areas need help.

The Foundation approached council and asked them to apply for a $5,000 grant that would help them fund the process. Council agreed and passed the motion. They also passed a motion to apply for a possible $20,000 grant that might be available in the future. By passing the motion at the Dec. 16 meeting, it will expedite the process should the larger grant become a possibility in the future.


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