Complementary Bus passes to be phased out next year

Council approves free bus passes; makes amendments on bylaws.

During the regular council meeting on Monday, Sept. 12, council decided to stop giving out free bus passes next year and change their fencing bylaw.

Cornerstone Christian School requested the city provide complementary bus passes for their foreign exchange students, as they have in previous years.

Council could provide a monthly pass of $52.50 to each of the 13 students for 10 months, for a total cost of $6,825. They could also give out semester student passes for $237.50 per semester. For 13 students, each needing a pass for two semesters, this would result in a cost of $6,175.

Coun. Don Mitchell made the motion and Coun. Warren asked administration whether complementary passes where given to other groups in the area, such as the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council or low-income families who require transportation assistance.

“I’m not aware of any other agreements to do this. However this is something that has been done in the past for this group,” said Matt Noble, city manager. “Usually the department of social services and others provide transportation for some of the groups mentioned previously. Other than that, our other students, to my knowledge, are on their own.”

Warren said the foreign exchange program was great for the city but wondered why transportation wasn’t included in their expenses.

Coun. Chris Swanson brought forth an amendment making this the final year for complementary bus passes.

“I thought Coun. Warren made some good points about how this is a program benefiting one group. There’s a bit of tradition to it,” Swanson said.

The exchange students hail from Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Mexico. They will be involved in a number of community activities throughout the school year as they get to know the city, according to a letter to council provided by the school.

As temporary residents unable to drive, they will need to use public transportation to attend their activities.

In by-laws Coun. Dawn Luhning introduced bylaw no. 5542. It includes adding barbed wire security fencing in certain areas.

Coun. Scott McMann moved the motion and Coun Chris Warren seconded it. The bylaw had it’s first, second and third reading.

The ammendment includes the redefinition of “barbed wire” as a type of steel fencing wire constructed with sharp points arranged at intervals along the strands.

It also adds the definition of “razor wire” as a type of mesh of metal strips and sharp edges whose purpose is to prevent passage by humans.

The use of barbed wire on any fence on a residential property is prohibited, with the amendment allowing for use on commercial or industrial properties.