Vacant building policy delayed in Petrolia

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A bylaw which would make sure vacant buildings in Petrolia are kept in good shape won’t make it to town council this week.

Laurissa Ellsworth, director of marketing, arts and communications, has been meeting with merchants in town discussing the Vacant and Under Utilized Building policy this fall. The policy would set a minimum standard for buildings, making sure windows and doors were secure, and the exterior is not left to deteriorate.

Ellsworth had expected the policy and the bylaw to go to council Monday, however that’s been delayed.

In a letter to merchants, Ellsworth says says the bylaw is very detailed and staff needs more time to make sure the policy is clear and any fines are appropriate.

She adds “it is difficult for us to change a by-law once it has been passed and once the province has approved the fine structure.”

“We want to do it right, and we want to make sure that it has ‘teeth.'” 

The bylaw is now expected to be up for discussion at council Jan. 24.