Lake of Bays approves amendment to Fouling and Encumbering By-law
Lake of Bays approved an amendment to the Fouling and Encumbering By-law, in the November 14, 2023, meeting.
The changes prohibit fouling, encroachment, obstructing, or unauthorized use of municipal highways, road allowances, and property, including parkland.
The By-law was originally created for the winter months; however, it’s been changed to allow the Township to deal issues they have been facing year-round for decades, including those they learn about from public complaints.
Superintendent of Public Works, Stephen Piece, indicated that summer issues include, “damage due to construction of private property, where they’re hauling equipment out on the road.”
He added, “Lots of people try and park their boat trailers and stuff like that on our municipal road allowance, or store boats on our property. That’s all stuff that we now have the teeth to deal with.”
Councillor, Robert Lacroix, referred to equipment that damages the road, such as an incident in the summer where a concrete truck dumped concrete on the road that the Township had to clean up. He inquired about whether this was the type of situation where they can make the company responsible for removing the material and the cost to do it.
Piece agreed. The new By-law will allow them to enforce situations such as this.
He added, “Remediation charges can go back on to that property owner. So not only do they get a charge under AMPS [Administrative Monetary Penalty System], they could also be hit with their mediation cost. So, when you look at a contractor that offloads his excavator and runs it for half a kilometer down my road and chews up the high float, we now have an ability to go after somebody.”
He referred to another incident last summer where construction debris was spilled and left on South Portage Road. “This is something that is now listed in our Fouling and Encumbering.” He added, “We now have the ability to: a) to charge, b) to prevent, and c) we can work with those people now through remediation to prevent that from happening again. It just gives us some more tools to deal with situations we run into every day.”
Councillor, Mike Peppard, inquired about how the changes would apply to logging operations and the impact they have on the gravel roads.
Piece indicated the By-law would apply to them as well, including whether they’re hauling at the wrong time or causing specific damage to the roads.
Councillor, Rick Brooks, inquired about whether people spray painting would be considered as fouling in the new By-law.
Piece advised that this is vandalism. He said, “We now have a whole section in the By-law about removing, damaging municipal property, removing signs off roads or public property. So, if someone’s defacing something, we can hit them under the Fouling and Encumbering, along with vandalism, and the criminal charges that can go along with that as well.”