Enderby council split over horses

Council voted 3-2 Monday to allow the Northwest Equine Rangers Society to construct a corral and hitching posts

Turning Enderby into a horse-friendly community has revealed some divisions.

Council voted 3-2 Monday to allow the Northwest Equine Rangers Society to construct a corral and hitching posts on city land subject to a licence of occupation and periodic inspections.

“We have to be open to all of the ideas that are brought forward,” said Coun. Tundra Baird, who supported the motion with Coun. Earl Shipmaker and Mayor Howie Cyr.

Opposition, though, came from Councillors Raquel Knust and Greg McCune.

“I received a number of calls from people with concerns about the issue,” said Knust.

Councillors Beryl Ludwig and Brad Case were absent.

City staff have looked at a number of issues related to allowing horses in the community, including liability, traffic disruption and excrement removal.

“They will build it (corrals) and operate it at no cost to the city,” said Baird of the society.

“If they don’t follow the guidelines, we can take the privilege away.”

Baird believes horseback riders could become a draw for tourists.

“It will make Enderby a unique and interesting place,” she said.

However, Knust says she had to vote no to reflect the views of residents who contacted her.

“They are concerned about manure being cleaned up, the output of urine and the washing away of the material,” she said, adding that sanitary issues could arise.

The city may require horse owners to carry clean-up bags but a staff report states there may be an impact on city resources to “maintain streets at a reasonable level,” to remove manure.

There is also a concern about animals being left unattended and potential conflicts between horses and residents.

“There are different variables when you put animals in with people,” said Knust.

Signs will warn the public that the corral is unsupervised and they use the facility at their own risk.