Vernon council has approved spending an extra 81-thousand dollars this year on bylaw enforcement for homeless camps.
Acting Mayor Catherine Lord says after getting a lot of complaints last year, the money will allow officers to monitor the camps during the shoulder seasons, in the early spring and late fall.
“This extra funding allows us to put those bylaw officers out, to make sure thee homeless camps stay clean, and are not presenting a health hazard,” Lord tells Kiss FM.
Councillor Brian Quiring says the money will allow officers to monitor the camps earlier in the morning, and during the shoulder seasons.
“The shoulder seasons are becoming more problematic for some of these issues, and having a business in the downtown, I can see it.”
Quiring says it will save the city policing costs.
“That’s one reason why I like to see things that can be dealt with by bylaw, to be dealt with by them so you are taking some of the burden off police.”
Bylaws staff will make sure the camps are staying clean and not presenting a health hazard.
Councillor Scott Anderson has also asked for a staff report on a bylaw Victoria uses.
People could still camp on public sites until 7 am — but then they would have to move.
“That stops a sort of tent city dynamic developing because most people are not going to set up a tent, take it all down, and come back the next night. It’s not comfortable,” Anderson tells Kiss FM.