Midland councillors are considering a series of bylaws to change how the harbour runs and how refreshments are served at big events.
Councillors considered the bylaws at a general committee meeting Tuesday evening.
The town took over operation of the harbour from the federal government in 2012. It is currently not regulated by any bylaws. Staff pointed out there are no regulations that would allow the town to deal with an abandoned boat or a boat that overstays its contract period at the harbour.
“I agree with the sentiment as to why this bylaw is being put forward,” said Coun. Stewart Strathearn. “The bylaw officer has very limited means to deal with a number of issues.”
But other councillors pointed out some of the proposed regulations seem to be an overreach, including regulating alcohol use and language at the dock.
“If you’re going to tell people how to speak, it becomes a big problem,” said Coun. Pat File. “It seems we’re building a huge regulatory regime that we may not have the means to administer.”
Councillors also considered a proposed bylaw to regulate refreshment vehicles and other salespersons during town-sanctioned events.
Coun. Cody Oschefski said such a rule would reduce red tape, noting food or drinks at town events currently must be approved by council, and the bylaw would allow municipal law enforcement officers to give approval.
“I certainly had a struggle with Floatie Fest and getting everything wrapped up this summer,” said Oschefski. “We probably could have had more options for food if this bylaw had passed in time.”
But File raised concerns about events that may conflict with established facilities, such as the restaurant at Little Lake Park, which pays licensing fees to the town.
“They’re there day in and day out, and suddenly someone can come in on a very nice weekend and take all their business,” she said. “I’m just wondering how we can create a balance between the two.”
Council will consider the bylaws, as well as other proposals on dumping and regulating the library, at its Oct. 24 meeting.
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