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No Trent Lakes fireworks by-law
March 24, 2017
BY TERRY GILLIS
On Tuesday afternoon, as directed by Trent Lakes Council in December, Clerk Kari Stevenson presented a report on the creation of a fireworks By-law.
On the instructions of Council, Staff contacted ratepayers, cottager associations and other municipalities and received feedback from the O.P.P. and Police Services Board.
In response to the inquiry, the O.P.P. researched past calls for Trent Lakes that were related to fireworks. The calls over the past 4 years are as follows:
• 2016 - 5
• 2015 - 3
• 2014 - 0
• 2013 - 5
However, these calls were not all complaints about the use of fireworks. They were:
• 6 complaints of shots fired which turned out to be fireworks
• 4 noise complaints
• 2 general nuisance
• 1 concern over property damage related to neighbours using fireworks.
Should the Municipality enact a By-law prohibiting or restricting the use of fireworks, the O.P.P. do have the authority and ability to enforce it on the Municipality’s behalf. However, calls are put in queue and responded to by priority. A By-law offence would be put on the bottom of the list making it unlikely that the O.P.P. would show up on scene while the fireworks were being used. When an officer does arrive at the offending property, the Municipality would be billed for a call for service of no less than one hour.
Most of the municipalities with fireworks By-laws have full time fire department staff or a By-law Officer that responds to complaints during the week.
Clerk, Kari Stevenson recommended that since there were so few complaints that a By-law and the resulting added policing costs were not warranted.
Council unanimously agreed not to go forward with the proposed Fireworks By-law.