Lock the lid: Fraser increases penalties for unsecured trash
Bears got into Fraser trash cans more last summer than at any point in the last decade, prompting a change in town ordinance regarding wildlife proof bins.
On Wednesday, Fraser Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor told the Fraser town board it seemed like officers were responding to trash calls on an almost daily basis over the summer.
“As an example, we had a property in Winter Park that we were going to almost every other night and finally we issued the HOA a summons for it and it motivated them to deal with the problem,” Trainor said.
A change in town ordinance would allow the police to fine residents for unsuitable trash containers after one warning in a 12 month period following an animal getting into the trash. Previously, the town ordinance allowed two written warnings in a 12 month period before a fine was issued.
The first fine is $100 and a second violation would be a $200 fine.
“A lot of these (instances) are continuous violators and because the ordinance requires two notices in a 12 month period, a lot of them continue year after year to not have a wildlife proof container,” explained Assistant Town Manager Michael Brack.
Brack noted that the ordinance focus is to try and reduce human-wildlife conflicts that could lead to the euthanization of animals.
Other trustees echoed Trainor’s comments and noted how much more frequently wildlife and trash encounters have come up recently.
“It’s a mess and I think this is a really good first step,” Trustee Andy Miller said.
Miller added that educating the public about the reasoning behind the change will be key to getting voluntary compliance.
The ordinance change passed unanimously.
In other business:
• The town board interviewed three candidates, Peggy Smith, Kaydee Fisher and Brian Roman, for the open seat on the town board left by Ryan Barwick. The board will vote on the new member at its April 21 meeting.
• Fraser granted a nine month extension for the Riverview Condominiums.
• Board members approved moving the responsibility of hearing alleged liquor license violations to the town’s municipal court.
• A contract with Merrick and Co. for $41,500 for design and project work related to Fraser’s wastewater treatment plant upgrades was approved.
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