The cost of dan­ger­ous and un­sightly

‘Each cleanup has its own in­tri­ca­cies,’ Ar­gyle coun­cil told

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - ERIC BOURQUE THEVANGUARD.CA

The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Ar­gyle is ex­am­in­ing its ap­proach to dan­ger­ous and un­sightly premises and is look­ing to cre­ate a pro­gram to help res­i­dents who other­wise would have trouble pay­ing the bill to clean up their prop­erty.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has a $35,000 bud­get for dan­ger­ous and un­sightly premises for this year. The idea is to al­lo­cate $20,000 of that to­tal for a po­ten­tial new pro­gram that would help off­set the cleanup costs fac­ing res­i­dents.

The pro­posal was the sub­ject of a mo­tion that was ap­proved at Ar­gyle coun­cil’s com­mit­tee-ofthe-whole meet­ing of Sept. 25.

The cleanup and man­age­ment of dan­ger­ous and un­sightly prop­er­ties was iden­ti­fied as a coun­cil pri­or­ity this year and so mu­nic­i­pal staff have de­voted more time and ef­fort to the mat­ter.

They also have cre­ated a com­mit­tee that will al­low for pub­lic in­put on prop­er­ties and con­sider ways of ad­dress­ing what is con­sid­ered a com­plex issue.

As coun­cil was told in a staff re­port pre­pared for coun­cil’s Sept. 25 meet­ing, “each cleanup has its own in­tri­ca­cies that need to be ad­dressed.”

Many fac­tors can con­trib­ute to dan­ger­ous or un­sightly prop­er­ties, coun­cil was told, in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial dis­tress (where some­one per­haps can­not af­ford to ad­dress the degra­da­tion of their prop­erty), men­tal ill­ness or phys­i­cal im­pair­ment, among oth­ers.

The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Ar­gyle’s cur­rent prac­tice is to bill the res­i­dent for the work done on a dan­ger­ous or un­sightly prop­erty “and the res­i­dent ei­ther sinks or swims on the bill,” coun­cil was told. In some cases, the res­i­dent still lives at the lo­ca­tion.

Staff is re­quest­ing a change in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s ap­proach that would “ad­dress the unique­ness” of each case.

“Staff would re­quest au­thor­ity to cre­ate a pro­gram for res­i­dents who are, for lack of a bet­ter term, in over their heads to ad­dress the fi­nan­cial bur­den placed upon them by Ar­gyle on a cleanup,” coun­cil was told.

The mo­tion, which was passed by coun­cil at its com­mit­tee-of-the-whole ses­sion, is that $20,000 of the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Ar­gyle’s bud­get for dan­ger­ous and un­sightly premises “be al­lo­cated to re­lief for res­i­dents in 2018-19, and that the re­lief be au­tho­rized upon the cre­ation and ap­proval of ap­pro­pri­ate pol­icy, and con­sis­tent with the au­thor­ity pro­vided to mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties through the Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Act.”

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