Town to update open air burning bylaw

Duane Hicks

Fort Frances will be updating its open air burning bylaw, and introduce short-form wording so tickets can be issued on-site to violators.
Fire Chief Frank Sheppard made a written request to town council, asking that the bylaw be updated.
“The update of this bylaw will allow for a reasoned approach to open air burning, ensuring property owners are not placing themselves or others at undue levels of risk from wildfire while respecting their right to enjoy their private property,” he wrote.
“Part of the rationale for updating this bylaw is that the legislation that it references no longer exists, which makes the bylaw unenforceable,” Chief Sheppard added.
“As part of this [new] bylaw, council will have to pass a set of fines with short-form wording that will require approval of the Attorney General of the province.
“In addition, authority will be required to designate someone as a provincial offences officer for the purpose of this bylaw,” he noted.
Council directed the clerk to prepare a new burning bylaw as proposed by Chief Sheppard.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•approved an annual two percent fee increase for Private Home Day Care contract providers through to 2015 that is consistent with the CUPE negotiated increase;
•ensured that a corporate policy, entitled “Town Requirements When Airport Management Structure is Modified,” has been developed and accepted prior to the March 31, 2012 deadline;
•accepted the February, 2012 drinking water system monthly summary report;
•agreed to a recommendation to provide financial support, to a maximum of $1,000, towards the 13th-annual “Fly-In, Drive-In BBQ” at the Fort Frances Airport on June 3;
•agreed to a recommendation to donate $100 to the Rainy River District Music Festival Association;
•approved 2012 capping parameters for the various property classes;
•approved purchase card expenses for CAO Mark McCaig in the amount of $889.61 (this is related to costs to attend the Ontario Good Roads Association/Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference Feb. 26-29 in Toronto);
•approved purchase card expenses for Mayor Roy Avis in the amount of $661.05 (this was for accommodations while attending the OGRA/ROMA conference); and
•approved the 2011 Schedule 22 (compliance) summary report for the town’s drinking water system and 2011-12 MoE “announced /focused” inspection report.