Diving back into pool law in South Glengarry

In this August 2017, file photo, South Glengarry Community Services GM Joanne Haley participates in a council meeting. Haley will make a presentation to council on Monday, March 19, 2018 to clarify "misconceptions" about the law. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, FIle)

LANCASTER – Even though it’s already the law, South Glengarry staffers will attempt to do some public relations damage control on its updated pool enclosure bylaw.

Community Services General Manager Joanne Haley has a PowerPoint presentation ready for council on Monday to “clarify some misconceptions about the bylaw that have been stated in the media and social media.”

Her 12-page presentation is supposed to “assist” councillors on the bylaw “if approached by the public.”

Haley does point out that the pool enclosure law encompasses inflatable pools and hot tubs and “may appear to be more restrictive” but that “being more specific allows the property owner to utilize the permit on a repeated basis.”

The permit costs $100, not including the cost of materials for ratepayers to build the enclosure around their summer respite.

A table of other SD&G and area municipalities shows the minimum depth of a pool requiring an enclosure is 0.5-0.6 meters (1.64-1.97 feet) – on par with South Glengarry’s law. Cornwall’s minimum is 0.75 meters (2.46 feet). South Glengarry’s law includes inflatable pools.

Hot tubs need a hard top that can support 90 kilograms (200 pounds).

Haley also notes that enforcement of the bylaw is “written complaint” driven and is also enforced if seen by bylaw enforcement officers.

She claims the municipality “has never laid charges” under the pool enclosure bylaw.

The bylaw passed March 5 despite objections from some councillors about the report from Bylaw Enforcement Manager Gary Poupart, calling it incomplete or lacking information.

Two members of council – Lyle Warden and Frank Prevost – said they would have liked the 2010 bylaw included with the 2018 bylaw for comparison – something that wasn’t in the report. Poupart defended his report saying the new bylaw was a complete rewrite, negating the need to include the old bylaw in the agenda package.

Monday’s South Glengarry council meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the municipal office on Oak Street in Lancaster.