This scrap metal bin was placed on the County of Stettler’s right-of-way in the community of Red Willow but has since been removed. ECA Review/SubmittedStu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Stettler county council gave a Red Willow property owner several more months to “clean up” scrap and debris after a special council meeting was held to hear an appeal on the matter March 15.

William McKinnon was named at the special council meeting as the owner of an unsightly premises in Red Willow, located at 33 Main Street. 

County of Stettler Bylaw Officer Robyn Potter stated in documents and at the council meeting she observed the unsightly premises on Feb. 9, 2023 which violated the County of Stettler’s nuisance bylaw and later that day began the process of issuing a remedial order.

The special council meeting was held because McKinnon applied to have councillors hear his appeal of the remedial order.

Councillors read a detailed report submitted by officer Potter which noted on Feb. 9 she was patrolling in Red Willow, a district within the County of Stettler, “when she noticed an unsightly property at 33 Main Street.”

Potter investigated and found that the property had a large scrap metal bin placed on the municipal right-of-way (ROW), refuse had accumulated and extended over the property line and onto County of Stettler property and that refuse had likewise accumulated and extended into the public alley behind the residence. 

The officer noted she took photos, which were presented in the special council meeting’s agenda package, then contacted her supervisor, Clint Sime, for advice. “…He agreed to issue a Remedial Order to McKinnon,” stated Potter’s report. One of the photos was a bird’s eye view of McKinnon’s property lines.

Over the next few days the County of Stettler bylaw officer had the remedial order written then delivered to the property; she noted no one appeared to be home when she was there, but left the order on McKinnon’s door and took a photo of it there. 

The order was also sent registered mail to the McKinnon family.

Potter told councillors that on Feb. 13 Marena McKinnon called the County of Stettler, “…asking for more information about how they can get the order reviewed by council.” Potter stated that if the McKinnon’s paid a $50 registration fee a meeting could be scheduled for the family to discuss the remedial order with councillors which resulted in the March 15 special council meeting.

Officer Potter updated councillors by stating the scrap metal bin appears to have been removed from the County of Stettler ROW but that no other clean up appears to have been done.

A copy of the remedial order was included for councillors to read; it stated that an “…accumulation of garbage, yard waste and/or building material on property” must be cleaned up or placed within a building on the property so it’s out of sight within 14 days of the date of issuance, being Feb. 9.

Coun. Ernie Gendre asked how long the scrap bin had been on the ROW and whether there was more scrap that needed to be removed.

Officer Potter stated she only observed the scrap metal bin from Feb. 9 onwards. However, her supervisor, officer Sime, was at the special council meeting and informed councillors the County of Stettler had a previous unsightly premises complaint about this same McKinnon property in 2019, which took about a year to clean up and by 2020 the property in question no longer violated the nuisance bylaw.

Marena was present at the special council meeting and stated the McKinnon family is trying to comply with the remedial order and is awaiting another scrap metal bin to, “…clean up the mess;” however, she didn’t have a delivery date for that bin yet.

Marena stated the McKinnon’s were not aware of where their property lines were located, but officer Sime disputed that by saying in 2019 when the first unsightly premises complaint was made against McKinnon, Sime described McKinnon’s property lines to the property owner.

Marena added that the winter weather hasn’t been helping clean up efforts either; she stated the McKinnons were hoping for a few more months to clean up the property.

Both Coun. Gendre and Coun. Les Stulberg stated they were glad to see the McKinnon’s making an effort to clean up the property. 

Officer Sime added that his department prefers to work with people on remedial orders over a heavy-handed approach.

Councillors unanimously approved an extension to the McKinnon remedial order to May 31. They also passed a resolution that if the property is cleaned up by that date, the McKinnon’s will also have their $50 appeal fee refunded.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 30, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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