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City of Merritt making amendments to its Animal Control Bylaw.

Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith says several changes were made using recommendations from the BCSPCA.

One of the main amendments for dogs surrounds tethering dogs when nobody's home.

"We had a provision around tethering without the ability to move around and access water. Now its on unattended tethering. It was one of the recommendations from the SPCA and is similar practise in other municipalities."

Smith also says amendments were made to allow for a clearer definition of an 'Aggressive' dog, and in some cases, fines have been increased.

The amended Animal Control Bylaw also now contains a provision allowing residents on larger lots to keep bees within city limits.

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No split kindergarten classes in School District 58 this year.
While he doesn't believe there is a negative connotation surrounding split classes for other grades, Superintendent Stephen McNiven says the studies show it can be a determent at the kindergarten level.
"Kindergarten is a play-based program. Not that there isn't what people would traditionally speak to as academics, or literacy and numeracy activity. But, its a play-based program and its a special type of learning for our youngest students, our five-year-olds, that are just coming into our system."
McNiven cautions its not always possible, but the district will continue to avoid split classes for kindergarten classes.
Classes at the kindergarten level have been all day since 2010.
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City of Merritt setting parameters for enforcing 'Good Neighbour' bylaw.

Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith says the bylaw that initiates a cost recovery clause to recoup costs for providing police and fire services was officially approved at Tuesday's regular meeting.

He confirms it will be RCMP driven, focusing on major disturbances.

"Similar to how other municipalities are using it. It's really designed to address the most egregious and extreme cases. It won’t be the 15-minute dog barking call that are going to be counting as a call. But, a response to drugs, or a big house party, where it effects a neighbourhood, is where it will come into play."

Smith says the cost to attend calls depends on the nature of them and will include a 15% administration fee.

"If its severe enough is both the fire department and police attend the call it could be in the thousands of dollars. But if its a couple officers it will likely be in the low hundreds."

The 'Good Neighbour' bylaw, which was recommended by the city's Police Committee, is designed to ensure those people contributing to nuisances bear the costs for dealing with the response.


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Born and bred Merritonian looking to bring positive change on Council.
With at least four new members of Council set to serve, Adam Etchart believes he his experience in the community gives him the skills needed to help guide the City of Merritt the next four years.
"There are a lot of vacancies, so I though it would be a great time to get involved and attempt to make some positive change in the community. And, try to work with the new group to see what can be accomplished."
Etchart says increasing flood mitigation efforts and simplifying the process of getting a business license are his main priorities heading into the election.
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City of Merritt to bid on hosting 2020 SILGA convention.

Mayor and Council voted in favour of hosting the Southern Interior Local Government Association at Tuesday's regular meeting.

Mayor Neil Menard says it shouldn't be too much work for the incoming Mayor and Council, whomever that will be.

"They have an opportunity to attend a conference in 2019 and will get a chance to see how good an organization it is. And, for how great it is for us to attend, network, and learn more about the region."

The City of Merritt previously hosted the annual SILGA convention in 2011.

The Southern Interior Local Government Association is comprised of elected officials from 36 cities, towns, villages, districts and regional districts in South Central British Columbia.


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