Council dealt with a letter from Wayne and Donna Stoz regarding a request to place a memorial to their dog in a village park.
The Stolz’ Shih Tzu terrior was killed by a pit bull last month. They wished to have a memorial plaque placed inone of the parks she frequented.
Council discussed the issue, fearing setting a precedent that could result in many others wanting a similar memorial.
It was noted that a doggie bag dispenser was lacking in the “little park” in the downtown core. Other possible locations for a plaque that were considered and rejected included Memorial Park and the pet watering fountain on its perimeter.
Council agreed to allow the placement of a plaque on a support for a doggie bag dispenser in the downtown park. The Stolz’ would be responsible for a $100 donation to cover village costs, as well as the cost of the plaque.
Request for road closure
A request by Shirley Mieras to close an undeveloped portion of Third Street, west of 311 Veterans Avenue, was refused after short debate.
A staff report informed council that a bylaw would have to be established in order to withdraw the property from road use. As its’ size would preclude development, it could only be sold as an addition to an adjacent property.
It was noted that Mieras had stated in her request that she had no interest in purchasing the piece. Since their was no interest in anyone purchasing the property, council voted not to consider redesignating the roadway at this time.
Small Claims Action
A long running small claims action against the village, filed by Nelson Tilbury, came to a conclusion recently. The matter concerned a water trespass that occurred on Tilbury’s downtown (the Review offices) building.
In 2007 a new water main was installed behind the property and in 2008 a break in a water line occurred at the front corner of the property. At this time the village discovered that the neighbouring property’s water line had been connected directly to the water service at Tilbury’s property, rather than having a direct connection of its own to the main line. The owners of the two properties were told to tie into the new water main behind the properties, and after doing so in 2009, the water line in front of Tilbury’s property was shut off.
A lawsuit was launched for $12,000 after the abandoned water line burst under the claimants property, but the courts eventually found that the Keremeos Irrigation District was liable for not turning off the abandoned line running from the property adjacent to Tilbury’s. The court also found former Public Works Foreman Bob Stanley, liable for misrepresenting to the claimant that the water services for the adjacent property had its original connection on the opposite side of that property.
Tilbury was awarded $1,491 in damages. The judge also ordered the village to disconnect the old service lines of both properties by May 1, 2014, or pay an additional $500 to the claimant.
In summarizing the claim to council, Chief Administrative Officer Laurie Taylor said the village’s insurance covered all but $2,500 of the lengthy and expensive legal battle. She said it would be cheaper to pay the additional $500, rather than dig up the street to remove the now unused line.
In question period following the meeting, Taylor also noted that the village was not asked to pay for the claimant’s court costs.
Tilbury said that he found the conduct of village staff over the incident to be “troubling” in an email to the Review following the court’s decision, adding the taxpayers of Keremeos should be “looking at this closely.”