After receiving complaints, the City is looking into creating new rules around removing roadside memorials.
The proposed policy says that memorials will be kept in place for six months after the incident, but after that period will be removed. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the weather is the issue surrounding the markers and makes it dangerous for other residents.
“After a period of time weather starts to deteriorate stuffed animals as an example and other things. We wanted to make sure that we were being considerate, but at the same time allowing people to have that opportunity to grieve.”
During the six months the City does have the right to remove the memorial if it is not being maintained, if it is larger than one meter by one meter or interferes with a construction project.
Aalbers says that there is no particular memorial that prompted the need for the policy, but the concern is maintaining them afterwards.
“We did have a couple this last year in various places and you’ll see the markers still sometimes present, sometimes not depending on people that maintain them or not. Some families have made a very genuine effort to ensure that they’ve been properly maintained, where others may not have had the ability.”
At the end of six months the City will sit down with the family or friends of the deceased and come up with a permanent solution if need be.
“There are some things that we can do that are permanent, but at the same time we don’t want to endanger other people, we don’t want to take away sight lines to cause more accidents and things like that. That’s why we talked about benches, trees being planted in certain places something like that that both captures the loss, but at the same time beautifies and adds to the community,” says Aalbers.
The policy will continue to be looked at in Council.