Port Edward council is considering research to implement a bylaw addressing travel trailers parking on private and public property.
The debate was sparked at their July 9 meeting when council read a letter from a resident asking for permission to have their family temporarily park their travel trailer on their private property during visitation.
In the end, council had no issue with the individual case, although it initiated a wider conversation about future requests where visitors stay for longer periods of time camped out in their travel trailers.
“If you start allowing that to happen then every person in this town will tell their buddies to come park in their yards. Personally, I feel we are a transient fishing town and we get a lot of company and it will put more stress on our systems,” said councillor Dan Franzen.
Residents are allowed to store their personal trailers on residential property as long as they have space. For visitors, there is a business in the community, Kinnikinnick Campground & RV Park, that provides services for travel trailers to park.
“Speaking personally, I’d be pretty bummed if somebody came to visit me with their travel trailer and they couldn’t park in my yard,” said councillor Christine Mackenzie. “I’m talking a week or two weeks, come and visit then leave, the problem is people came and they stay and think they can be there forever. It’s totally different from visitors.”
Mayor Knut Bjnordal said the issue is people living in travel trailers who are not paying taxes, who do not pay for the water, the sewer or rent and who are freely using up Port Edward resources.
“We’ve had problems in the past with people living on the side of the road for months,” explained Bjnordal. “My personal problem is that we don’t want these all over the streets.”
Bjnordal suggested they give individual permission for requests during the remaining summer months, stating that their family and friends can connect their trailers to water and not the sewer, so they do not lose control of the situation.
The mayor also suggested that come September, they begin researching what other small towns — such as Williams Lake or New Denver — are doing to deal with this problem in hopes of writing a clearer bylaw.
“There is no law saying they can’t park their trailer almost forever on the street,” said Bjnordal.
BC Transit and budget update
Council also voted to accepted the 2019 financial report update as of June 30 — with all costs in line with their budget so far — and their yearly terms and conditions for the Annual Operating Agreement between BC Transit and the District.
Port Edward is expected to make $40,000 in revenue this year, $9,000 more than they saw in 2018. The cost of service is expected to decrease to $145,576 from $151,858 in 2018.
On May 1, Port Edward increased their bus fares to the following:
Adults: $2 to $3;
Students: $1.50 to $2.50;
Travel to the North Pacific Cannery for adults and students: $2.75 to $4;
Tickets (10) adults: $18 to $27;
Tickets (10) students $13.50 to $22.50;
Monthly adults: $48 to 72;
Monthly students: $40 to $60;
Seniors have remained the same at $24 per year but will increase to $30 come January.
Port Edward council will go down to monthly meetings for the remainder of the summer, with the next one scheduled on Aug. 13.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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