Jake Bianic – Boundary Creek Times Reporter
People are trespassing on his land and discharging firearms, and Guy Owens wants teeth in a village bylaw to help make it stop.
Owens made a request to council at Monday night’s regular meeting to update the “No Shooting” bylaw in the village to prevent illegal hunting and other activities. There was, however, an inconsistency with his request where he called for no weapons or firearms but did argue for the lawful use of a bow on lot 16085.
This caused debate and brought up another question: what was permitted to be used? The bylaw currently covers only guns, shotguns, air/spring rifles and crossbows. It does not cite bows, allowing people to use a bow in their own backyard (within reason) with no repercussions.
Councillors Richard Dunsdon, Gary Schierbeck, and Darrin Metcalf all agreed that there should be a change to the bylaw to exclude bows.
Councillor Marguerite Rotvold said it was not fair for council to pass such a motion and that people should not have their right to practice their recreation taken away; that not everyone could travel to gun ranges to do so all the time, and that there hasn’t been an issue with it before. Council disagreed with this motion, and agreed it would be safer if they were included on the bylaw.
Council did pass a motion for more signage to be put up, but suggested Owens seek further assistance from RCMP and conservation officers.
Council noted that to the northeast of the graveyard is a portion of land where hunting is allowed, but if someone were to shoot a rifle and miss, the bullet could travel into residential property. Two district lots (560 and 2227) to the northeast of the cemetery will be reviewed to be entirely included in the prohibition zone.
Village council turned down a second request from The Bridge for a property tax exemption.
The Bridge is a charitable organization based out of the old Midway Church. Pastor Rick Steingard fought for the request, saying it would cut their bills and provide more opportunity to help the community. “Why not have community zoning, because it’s a community building and it’s a community outreach going to the community,” he argued.
Some council members did not agree with this, saying The Bridge could seek assistance from other churches in the area. Rotvold, and Shierbeck both agreed the organization could seek help from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) rural director, Phoenix Foundation and the Lions Club.
Council voted unanimously to turn down the request.
Rotvold, as the village’s RDKB representative, reported that Chair Grace McGregor posed the issue of provincial electoral riding boundary hearings. There were to be hearings held Oct. 8 in Trail and Penticton; however, the Village of Midway did not receive any notice of these happening. McGregor requested that all municipalities write letters opposing any changes.
Council supported writing a letter opposing electoral riding boundary changes
After much deliberation, council approved funding for new arena gas detection equipment, as the old sensors were unable to calibrate properly or safely. The new equipment will cost approximately $5,380. Also, roofing for the library was approved and quotes were received on roofing jobs for the community hall and museum.
Council congratulated Councillor Marguerite Rotvold on being recognized at last month’s UBCM convention for her 25 years of service as a local elected official.