The Sun Peaks council will set aside capital to install additional facilities for pet waste along the Valley Trail.
Three additional double bins, costing $5,200 in total, will be installed. Each double bin will include separate containers for garbage and recyclables as well as a glove dispenser. Municipal staff, consulting with Sun Peaks Resort staff, estimated the operating costs for all three bins at $600 per month. This includes cost for dumping the bins and replenishing the glove dispensers.
The first bin will be located on the intersection of Fairways Drive and Burfield Drive, the second will be on the Valley Trail close to the intersection of Fairways Drive and Creekside Way, and the third will also be on the Valley Trail close to the intersection of Sun Peaks Road and Sundance Drive.
There are currently three bins already on the Valley Trail owned and maintained by Sun Peaks Resort Corporation. They’re located by Sun Mountain Villas, in front of the Sports Centre and at the Umbrella Cafe.
A letter received by council informing them of dog excrement accumulating on the Valley Trail prompted the council to look into this issue. Residents and visitors have reported seeing dog poop either left on the trail or bagged and thrown among the trees. An earlier report prepared by staff found that there were not enough bins on the Valley Trail.
Having dog waste visible on the Valley Trail “can be an issue” said a
local dog owner.
“It can be an issue, especially with the bagged poop, because people will bag it and then throw it,” said Nick Arnott-Smith. “That’s even worse than just having dog poop around, in my opinion.”
“I see a lot of it out there myself. When I pick up after my dogs, I usually pick up after others too because I don’t like to see it,” said dog owner Celeste McLaren. “It’s not very nice for visitors to see either.”
The council will also draft an animal control bylaw that will address any concerns about dogs and other animal-related issues. The dog-specific components of this proposed bylaw will include guidelines on where dogs are allowed to run at large, dog waste disposal and number of dogs allowed per household. It’ll also address number of cats allowed per household, ownership of wild animals or exotic pets and farm animals.
McLaren said she thinks a bylaw might help people to be more responsible dog owners. “In cities where there’s a bylaw, you can tell there’s a big difference.”
Because implementing an animal bylaw can be problematic with a lack of resources, council plans to use the bylaw mainly to inform people about the rules and only penalize problem offenders.
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