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Junk in yards addressed

Posted on May 28, 2014 by Maple Creek

The town is making progress in addressing the problem of junk on private properties.

Council passed a new property maintenance and nuisance bylaw at its regular meeting on May 27.

The bylaw is meant to ensure yards are kept free of items such as junk vehicles and old freezers, which create an environment for rodents to live and are considered an eyesore.

According to the bylaw, vehicles on private properties in town must be properly insured. If they are not roadworthy, such as cars that are being fixed up as a project by the owner, they must be insured under a package policy. Grass around the vehicle must be cut. A vehicle cannot be stored on a lot without the permission of the property owner.

Council agreed it could not set a limit on the number of insured vehicles on any property.

No refrigerators or freezers are allowed to be stored in yards.

Fences must be self-supporting. If not, they must be repaired.

A new bylaw was also established and passed which sets snow and ice removal apart from the nuisance bylaw that it was formerly classified under.

It states that any property owner with a sidewalk along their property is responsible for keeping it clear of snow and ice that accumulates. Business owners must remove snow or ice within 24 hours of a weather event, while residential properties must have sidewalks cleared within 36 hours.

Snow can be put into the street if it is done within 24 hours of a snow event and spread evenly no more than four inches deep for road crews to clear.

In other matters discussed, a homeowner requested the town remove boulevard trees in front of his property. The three trees in question were inspected by a tree removal service and reported to be not in good condition as they were older trees that had been damaged.

Mayor Barry Rudd stated it brings up the problem of people who are not qualified tree trimmers cutting branches off trees and killing them when the work isn’t done properly.

Council agreed it is hesitant to cut down trees unless they are a hazard. The question also arises of who should cover the cost – the property owner or the town.

B & D Tree Service of Swift Current told the town it could remove the trees at a cost of $1,000 per tree. Council will be gathering more information from the tree trimmers on the condition of the trees to determine what should be done.

A request was made by the Maple Creek Slo-pitch League for an event permit. The group would like to have a beer gardens on June 21 for its playoffs. Council gave its consent.

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