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Annual Christmas campaign trades tickets for toys

Toys for Tickets returns

St. Albert scofflaws can get out of paying parking tickets this month by playing Santa Claus to kids in need.

St. Albert’s annual Toys for Tickets campaign started Wednesday. First run in 2009, the program lets anyone who gets a parking ticket in the city get out of paying for it by donating a new toy worth at least $25 to the St. Albert Kinette’s Christmas Hamper instead.

Most people prefer to pay for a toy rather than a ticket, as a toy is often cheaper than a $60 ticket, said city peace officer program supervisor Garnet Melnyk. There were some lavish donations last year, however, such as a complete Hot Wheels race track with a fleet of cars as well as some donations from people who didn’t even receive tickets.

“People were quite generous,” Melnyk said.

Last year’s campaign netted some 222 toys worth some $5,800.

The campaign applies to any parking ticket issued in St. Albert between Nov. 15 and 30. To qualify, you have to donate a new, unwrapped toy that’s bought during the early payment range for the ticket, suitable for kids 16 and under, in its original packaging.

Donations can be dropped off at the St. Albert RCMP headquarters on Bellerose Drive (Maloney Place) between Nov. 15 and Dec. 7, and will be used in the annual St. Albert Transit Fill-A-Bus campaign.

Call St. Albert Municipal Enforcement at 780-458-4300 for details.

Street design in the spotlight

Pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit users are all being canvassed Wednesday afternoon as city staff start work on designing balanced roads.

The concept, called Complete Streets, takes all roadway users into consideration to develop roads that could contain driving lanes, cycling paths, sidewalks, trails and boulevard trees depending on who uses them.

An open house Wednesday runs from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at Red Willow Place for residents interested in learning more or providing their opinions to city staff.

Land swap open for input

Residents will have the chance Monday to weigh in on proposed bylaw changes for a land swap in the Braeside neighbourhood.

The proposed bylaw changes would affect the land use bylaw and municipal development plan: rezoning a portion of land from low-density to medium-density to allow for construction of a condo building at the three homes at 53, 55 and 57 Sturgeon Road; as well as swapping part of the treed, sloped backyard of one home for a piece of street-front property in Red Willow Park next door.

The land swap amounts to 0.13 hectares of land, according to an administrative report from the city.

Since the project was proposed, a group of residents has formed to oppose the land swap.

Monday’s regular council meeting includes a public hearing on the issue.

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