Thunder Bay

Loitering bylaw, fireworks on Thunder Bay city council agenda

A Thunder Bay city councillor is pushing forward with a request for the development of a new loitering bylaw.
Thunder Bay City Council has a packed agenda for Monday's meeting. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

A Thunder Bay city councillor is pushing forward with a request for the development of a new loitering bylaw.

At Monday's meeting of city council, Aldo Ruberto will ask administration to do a report that would include recommendations on how the city can deal with the "loitering situation."

The resolution states that while the city does, in fact, currently have a loitering bylaw, "it does not give police or municipal officers enough authority for enforcement for loitering in public and private areas."

Ruberto is asking administration to examine similar bylaws passed by other municipalities, and include recommendations as to how a loitering bylaw "would best assist with responding to concerns from the public and business community."

The resolution directs administration to consult with various city committees and Thunder Bay police, and the report would be due back by Sept. 28.

Also Monday, Councillor Andrew Foulds is asking for details on the city's short- and long-term plans to clean up Boulevard Lake.

The lake is currently drained so work can be done on the dam.

"In addition to this work, it would be my goal that clean up of Boulevard Lake be completed in the coming year as well," Foulds' resolution states. "I understand that there may be environmental considerations that may require consideration and as a result I am requesting administration report back on what work could be done in the short term."

The report is due back by Sept. 28.

Concerns about fireworks

And Ruberto will also ask administration to look at scaling back the use of fireworks in Thunder Bay through an amendment of the city's existing fireworks bylaw.

"Many residents have contacted me and commented on my social media platforms sharing their concerns about fireworks being set off in our city," Ruberto's resolution states. "There are issues with noise and the time of fireworks being set off."

"This is [in] addition to concerns regarding the intensity of fireworks, and the sound being impactful to pets and to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder."

Ruberto is asking for a report that includes information about possibly reducing the number of dates during which fireworks are permitted, increasing the ability of by-law enforcement officers to respond to fireworks-related noise complaints, and whether the city can enforce a limit on the decibel level of fireworks sold in Thunder Bay.

The report is due back by Nov. 23

Also included in Monday's agenda is a report from administration which recommends the city forgo giving non-union managers a wage increase in 2020.

Administration also recommends council remuneration increase by .5 per cent, or half the rate of inflation in 2019. That increase, if approved, would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020.

If approved, it would cost the city $4,900 this year, and the money has been included in the 2020 budget, the report states.

However, not everyone is in favour of the raise: Mayor Bill Mauro will table an amendment, asking that the raise for council not happen this year.

Site selected for south-side rainbow crosswalk

"While I appreciate the effort to provide small incremental increases annually rather than large increases after long periods of time to equalize council salaries," Mauro writes in his amendment, "I am not in favour of proceeding with this year's increase."

Council will also receive a report recommending the installation of a rainbow crosswalk on the city's south side.

"Administration is currently working with Thunder Pride and our contractor, North-West Lines, to have rainbow and transgender crosswalks painted this season," the memorandum reads, adding that funding is in place.

The crosswalk will be located at the intersection of Donald and May streets, and the costs will be split between the city, Thunder Pride, and contractor North West Lines.

If approved, the crosswalk will be painted in 2020.