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Fort Simpson Village Council Briefs

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

Sibbeston stepping down

At Monday night's council meeting, Coun. Darlene Sibbeston tendered a letter of resignation effective July 20. She is vacating her council seat to return to school.

Going out in a flourish

Sibbeston had a number of items added to the agenda including a proposal to create a bicycle helmet bylaw. Such a bylaw recently passed in Inuvik, where cyclists without helmets can have their bicycles impounded, she noted. A $25 fee must be paid to get bikes back.

Coun. Dave Wright supported the idea emphatically. If people can afford to buy $300 bicycles, they can surely pay $30 for a helmet, he said.

Only Coun. Bob Hanna voiced disapproval. Shaking his head, Hanna said, "It's getting expensive to be a kid," and asked if the village won't soon require cyclists to be licensed.

Although she was in favour of the idea, Coun. Kim Squires questioned whether the bylaw would actually be enforced.

Dennis Nelner, acting mayor in Raymond Michaud's absence, said requests should go out to ensure stores stock enough helmets.

The issue was tabled until senior administrative officer Bernice Swanson returns.

Plotting things right

Sibbeston also expressed the need for the graveyard extension to be more orderly than the existing site. For instance, lanes should be designated so a backhoe can access the area to dig fresh graves, she said. As well, the burial plots are not properly aligned, but future ones should be, she contended.

Benches and cans

Sibbeston sought council's approval to have the village service new garbage cans and maintain new benches that have been bought by local businesses and organizations. Sibbeston spearheaded a campaign that resulted in the purchase of three new bear-proof garbage cans and six metal/mesh benches. The motion carried.

How many times?

Sibbeston also asked what, if anything, had been done about Coun. Kim Squires' concern regarding loose dogs in the community. Patty Wood, acting senior administrative officer, replied that the bylaw officer has been away on medical leave and the dog catcher was out of town recently.

Nelner noted that this marked the third consecutive meeting that loose dogs were a source of complaint. Residents expect action to be taken, he said, so the dog catcher must be advised accordingly.

An unbiased look

Council passed a motion to work with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs on a study examining the benefits and drawbacks of village and hamlet status. No terms of reference have been drafted yet, but MACA agreed to fund the analysis.

"We want a private consultant, not somebody working for the government," Hanna said.

Public servants, honestly!

Council unanimously waived the $60 remuneration they were each entitled to for a luncheon meeting with MACA officials on May 19 in Fort Simpson.