City to ‘ag­gres­sively’ en­force law at Al­bion Falls

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL -

With an eye to re­duc­ing ac­ci­dents at Al­bion Falls, the city will erect new warn­ing signs and then “ag­gres­sively” en­force ex­ist­ing by­laws against tres­pass­ing.

Coun­cil ap­proved that mo­tion Fri­day, along with a call to ask po­lice to in­crease their en­force­ment at the pic­turesque east Moun­tain wa­ter­fall, where a chain-link fence is also be­ing in­stalled.

A Toronto pho­tog­ra­pher lost his foot­ing and fell to his death there last month. Fire­fight­ers have re­sponded to emer­gency calls at the falls six times this year, in ad­di­tion to res­cues at Web­ster Falls, Devil’s Punch­bowl and Wed­nes­day at Che­doke Falls.

Coun. Sam Merulla said the city can­not send mixed mes­sages on tres­pass­ing. The by­law is on the books, he said. “We will en­force it.”

Mayor Fred Eisen­berger said it de­fies logic why some take risks at wa­ter­falls, adding en­hanced sig­nage and by­law en­force­ment is the way to go rather than “walling off ” some of Hamil­ton’s most strik­ing nat­u­ral fea­tures.

The mea­sures are in­tended to en­cour­age pub­lic safety, but Stoney Creek Coun. Doug Con­ley did not mince words about the fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions for the city over law­suits.

“We need to do our due dili­gence with signs, and fences, to cover our­selves for fu­ture lit­i­ga­tion. It’s a mas­sive un­der­tak­ing, and not just at Al­bion Falls.”

But Eisen­berger cau­tioned coun­cil against “over­re­act­ing,” liken­ing the sit­u­a­tion to a few years ago when to­bog­gan­ing on city prop­erty was de­clared il­le­gal af­ter the city had to pay $1 mil­lion in dam­ages and court costs when it was sued by an in­jured sled­der.

“We want peo­ple to en­joy our nat­u­ral ar­eas with­out tak­ing un­nec­es­sary risks … it’s a bal­anc­ing act.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.