Town probes Centennial Park parking lot security

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No enhanced gating but patrols will continue

INNISFAIL – The town will not spend money to put the brakes to late evening noisemakers in the parking lot at Centennial Park – for now.

Last January local citizen Roger Tewson told town council that residents in the area were becoming concerned with growing nocturnal traffic, loitering and noisy behaviour in the parking lot. He suggested to council the problems could be curbed by installing a security gate that could be locked at a set time during the evening.

Council directed administration to look into the concerns and the costs of installing a security gate. A report was brought to council on Feb. 26.

“We discussed it with the RCMP and our staff and looked at it,” said Mayor Jim Romane. “With the RCMP their feeling on it is that (noise) is not out of control and they will patrol it regularly, perhaps pay a little bit more attention to it.

“They didn’t seem to be of the impression that it was any worse than a lot of other areas in town,” added the mayor.

Administration’s report to council noted RCMP have received seven recent minor complaints, with municipal bylaw officers handling six dating back to July of last year. Those included ones for an abandoned vehicle, unattached trailer, a knocked out post, garbage on the lot and reports of an aggressive dog.

“No complaints referenced the antisocial behaviour as raised by the delegation (Tewson),” said the report, which added RCMP and municipal enforcement officers patrol the site regularly.

Administration estimated the cost of a parking lot security gate would be about $2,100. The report noted town staff would be required to open and close the gate daily. As well, noted the report, additional barriers would be required along the roadway coming into the park for the new security gate to be effective, and there would be potential problems if a vehicle was left unattended when the site was being secured.

Council opted not at this time to go ahead with the expenditure of a security gate but approved a motion for monitoring to continue for suspicious behaviour, and the public encouraged to report it to the RCMP.

“Council approved the motion but they added on to report back in six months,” said Todd Becker, the town’s chief administrative officer. “We are suggesting to (nearby) neighbourhood to make sure they do file complaints based on the need to file a complaint.”

Mayor Jim Romane

“With the RCMP their feeling on it is that (noise) is not out of control and they will patrol it regularly, perhaps pay a little bit more attention to it.”

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Johnnie Bachusky

Johnnie Bachusky joined the Innisfail Province as editor in 2013. He covers Innisfail and Red Deer County news, police, crime and municipal politics. He is also a photographer and columnist.