The cost of dangerous and unsightly
‘Each cleanup has its own intricacies,’ Argyle council told
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.”