ST. PAUL - As construction gets closer to wrapping up on a portion of road north of St. Paul that has been closed all summer, the County of St. Paul and Town of St. Paul are weighing their options on how they can prevent motorists speeding along the soon-to-be newly paved stretch of road.
The County of St. Paul has approached the Town of St. Paul about using the Town's municipal enforcement to patrol Township Road 582 and Range Road 95. The issue was brought forward during the Sept. 13 Town of St. Paul council meeting.
CAO Steve Jeffery said he felt there is potential for some excessive speeding occurring on the newly built roads, once construction is complete. Rather than approaching RCMP to patrol the area, administration felt it may fit better for the Town of St. Paul's municipal enforcement to deal with potential issues that may arise.
Range Road 95 turns into 57th Street, on the far west end of St. Paul, while Twp Rd 582 is located directly north of the Town of St. Paul, and connects with a handful of roads that lead into town.
Jeffery explained that the Town can enter into a peace officer agreement with another municipality, in this case the County of St. Paul, as long as all parties involved have the necessary insurance coverage to enter into the agreement. Also, there must be a plan detailing how public complaints will be handled, and an agreement must indicate which jurisdiction or area is covered in the agreement.
He acknowledged that it would be a tough item to put a number on, as far as how much it could cost the municipality, but one option would be that the Town keeps any funds from traffic infractions that occur on the County roads in question. In that case, there would be no charge to the County for the Town peace officers patrolling of the roads.
Jeffery also noted that it would make sense to include Range Roads 93A and 94A, since they connect the town to Twp Rd 582.
Coun. Nathan Taylor said he would like to take the initiative one step further and include the road that leads to the Town of St. Paul's transfer station. He noted that if transfer station attendants are seeing issues, such as uncovered loads, those pieces could also be addressed by municipal enforcement.
Coun. Ron Boisvert said his only concerns would be taking peace officers out of the town itself, and he was also concerned about staff availability.
Mayor Maureen Miller spoke to the issue too, saying she would hope the first approach to any speeding issues would be education.
"The intention is safety," said Miller.
Taylor said he felt the Town and County have a great working relationship and he felt that would carry through to enforcement of the roads in question.
Coun. Norm Noel noted that in past discussions on similar topics, he recalled concerns by residents from the County of St. Paul who worried that enforcement could expand further into that municipality.
A motion was carried to explore a municipal enforcement agreement to patrol Twp Rd 582 and Range Road 95/57th Street, along with connecting roads and the transfer station road.
The Town of St. Paul has closed Kendelstick Park while work is done to replace the aging playground equipment.
The Town announced on Sept. 13 the park would be closed, and the topic came up during that evening's council meeting. Coun. Brad Eamon asked administration what happens to the old playground equipment once it is taken down.
Jeffery said a lot of the pieces are rendered unsafe once they are taken apart, and most are simply disposed of.
Also speaking about parks in town, Coun. Noel brought up concerns regarding late-night partying that is reportedly taking place on the west side of Lagasse Park.
Jeffery said there have been concerns expressed during the past year in the area, but he personally had not heard about the incident Noel relayed. Noel said he received a complaint about noise at the park, occurring until the early morning hours, which concluded following a loud "explosion" sound.
The CAO said he would speak with municipal enforcement about the complaint.
To date, 88 per cent of taxes have been collected by the Town of St. Paul for 2021, although, when grants and other factors are considered, the result is less than 10 per cent of taxes being outstanding, heard council.
The dollar amount equals just over $1 million in property taxes being owed to the Town of St. Paul.