City of Saskatoon ordered to clean up under own bylaw
The City of Saskatoon has cleaned up a publically-owned pathway after being issued a property maintenance order under its own bylaw.
The order, issued by Fire and Protective Services, involved an abandoned pathway near Avenue M South and 19th Street West which was covered in garbage and weeds.
"If we're asking Joe Q public to clean their property, it's only fair the city keeps theirs clean as well," said Saskatoon's fire Chief Brian Bentley.
Bentley said the area has been a problem spot for years because it's often used as a short-cut, making it an easy target for littering.
"These types of properties, especially if they're in industrial areas or out-of-the-way areas, they can turn into impromptu dumps," said Bentley.
In this case, the city complied with the order and was not issued a fine. However, fines under the Property Maintenance Bylaw can range from $250 to $750.
Murray Totland, Saskatoon's city manager, believes the area became increasingly messy because staff weren't sure if it fell under private or public property.
"I'll be honest, I wasn't very happy with it from the sense that we as the City of Saskatoon are the responsible authority that sets property maintenance standards in this city," said Totland.
"I applaud their (Fire and Protective Services) actions because it got results and it, I think, made our own staff aware that it's important that we keep our property to that acceptable level."
Bentley said this isn't the first time the City has been issued a property maintenance order, but maintained it has always cleaned up shortly after.
As for the land, Bentley said he's heard rumblings that it may be turned into a community garden.