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Alberton council plans to once again look into hiring a bylaw enforcement officer.

“They can go in and make inspections, if need be, if there are offences, they can ticket them, and fine them for different things,” said Donna Thomson, chief administrative officer for the town.

The issue was first brought up in 2019, when there were issues that would necessitate having a bylaw enforcement officer. One concerned a building in town zoned for commercial use, but is acting as a residence. The owner of the building had ignored all stop work orders issued by the town regarding the efforts to turn it into a multiple occupancy living facility. Another issue concerned a complaint of stray cats near Elizabeth Drive.

The two newest bylaws for the town are a bylaw with respect to Nuisance and Noise Control, and a bylaw with respect to Enforcement and Summary Proceedings. A third bylaw, the Dangerous, Hazardous, and Unsightly Property Bylaw, was amended.

All three bylaws received a second reading at the monthly council meeting of July 12, and all were approved to be adopted. These three bylaws would be helpful to the bylaw enforcement officer when it comes to issues like the recent spats of vandalism in town. Security cameras were smashed, and there was damage to the fences at Stone Station Playground next to the library, and boards on bleachers were broken, and a building at the ball field was tipped over.

“It gives us a little more authority to put a stop to some of the stuff that has been going on,” said Mayor David Gordon. “If someone gets a charge, it will slow them down.”

When council first broached the subject two years ago, it was proposed that the cost to hire the bylaw enforcement officer would be shared between other councils in West Prince. Tignish, O’Leary, and Tyne Valley had all expressed interest in the idea, but ultimately decided against it. At the November 2019 meeting for Tignish Council, Mayor Allan McInnis said he didn’t feel a bylaw enforcement officer would be feasible for the amount of times Tignish might require the services of the officer.

When asked if Alberton council planned to once again approach other councils in the area on the matter, Mr Gordon said it was a possibility.

“It’s definitely something we’re looking into,” he said. “But our first step is to get our bylaws updated.”

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