Sgt. Dave Henry of the Elk Point RCMP Detachment had a brief conversation about policing priorities for 2021 with County of St. Paul Council on Mar. 9.
According to Henry, in 2020 the detachment had focused on crime reduction, traffic, and public relations. He said from their perspective things are going very smoothly right now in the Elk Point area.
County of St. Paul Reeve Steve Upham called 2020 “an extremely successful year” and said “we just need to hold on exactly what we’re doing because I think you’ve got a great thing going down in your area there.”
Henry suggested traffic enforcement be downgraded from second priority to third, citing the particular economic challenges in Elk Point.
“I would like to make traffic tickets a little less priority and just educating people more of a priority. We’re going to give out tickets. We’re going to enforce the law especially with no insurance, no registrations. But I think we need to focus more on community and building community,” said Henry.
Div. 1 Coun. Darrell Younghans said the RCMP have made great strides in the Elk Point area and asked for them to focus somewhat more on the areas around the lakes going in to the summer.
Younghans made a motion to approve the RCMP performance plan as presented, the motion carried.
No decision yet on extra RVs in Crestview
There’s no decision yet on whether the owners of a lot in Crestview will be able to continue having extra RVs on their property after making changes to accommodate recent mobility issues.
In a presentation to council Mar. 9, resident Terrance Wolaniuk explained that the property has been a gathering place for his extended family since his parents purchased the lot in the 1970’s. In 2008, a limit of two recreational vehicles permitted on each property was brought in and their property was one of several to be grandfathered in as exceptions with a total of four RVs stored on the lot year-round.
According to Wolaniuk, they did remove one of the RVs and replace it with a different one which is much newer and about six feet longer.
“Because of a recent bladder cancer, bladder removal, and an upcoming hip surgery we had to make it barrier free and we had to make it so they could live out there.”
Wolaniuk asked for County Council to continue grandfathering the new RV because his parents aren’t able to spend time out at the lake without at least one of the siblings also present.
“This is not about expanding and trying to turn it in to a private campground or anything. This is one family converging during some of the weekends over the warmer months to get together,” said Wolaniuk.
Because the RV which was replaced now takes up more space than the one which was grandfathered in, it’s not as simple as just continuing the status quo.
Div. 5 Coun. Dale Hedrick suggested attaching the new holiday trailer to a deck and calling it a permanent structure as a way of getting around the bylaw.
Div. 1 Coun. Darrell Younghans said it was a situation where the human aspect needed to be considered, but was also in favour of some strict guidelines if they were to continue allowing the fourth trailer.
Council voted to table the discussion so administration can get a legal opinion about how to word the exception and any precedents it might unintentionally set for council.
Residents in Whitney Lake upset by sale
The County of St. Paul’s decision to sell a number of items from the Whitney Lake Rodeo Grounds including 10’ panels, bleachers, and outhouses among other things has drawn the ire of some area residents.
According to County of St. Paul CAO Sheila Kitz administration received an e-mail from some of the individuals involved in the community groups who helped build the rodeo grounds.
“[They’ve] expressed some disappointment in the fact that they had the community had put this in place, and they’re wondering what the county plans to do with the funds derived from the sale, or if we should be selling it at all,” said Kitz.
Div. 1 Coun. Darrell Younghans said he did apologize to the letter-writers for not consulting with them about the direction County council had chosen to go regarding the sale. He said it’s been 25 years since the last rodeo was hosted at Whitney Lake and the associations who had done the work are all defunct or disbanded at this point.
A motion by Younghans to consult with the groups, or the members of the groups regarding where the money from the sale should go was carried.
He said they were asked to leave the bleachers there, but noted there would be a considerable expense to bring them up to any kind of safety standard.
“There was a pile of volunteer work went into these grounds and bleacher things and it’s going to be a pile of work to take them apart. It’s a shame to see all the work that went into it how they’ve sat for so long,” said Younghans.
A second motion by Div. 6 Coun. Laurent Amyotte delegated the responsibility of responding to the letter to Younghans. That motion also carried.