Relief is on the way to Rimbey residents for whom the rumble of a diesel engine is anything but soothing when they’re trying to catch some sleep.
The Town of Rimbey has given first reading to a bylaw that puts more teeth — including heftier fines — into rules against parking trucks and recreational vehicles in specified residential areas.
But the town has yet to work out a solution for truckers who need secure parking where they can plug their units in or leave them to idle and who don’t want to have to walk home against a howling wind when it’s -40C outside, chief administrative officer Tony Goode said on Thursday.
Goode said he understands truckers’ concerns about keeping their engines warm when the weather is cold as well as the potential for theft and vandalism when units are parked in an unsecured area.
Those concerns were expressed by a handful of truckers who attended an open house in November to discuss the bylaw amendments now being proposed.
However, the town has some concerns of its own.
Along with a few complaints from residents about highway tractors left idling outside their bedroom windows, there are problems with snow removal in areas where large vehicles are parked on the streets, said Goode.
With the amendments, RV parking will not allowed on residential streets during the spring and summer, but are supposed to be removed on Sept. 1, he said.
Truck parking will not be allowed at all in specified areas of the town.
Rimbey’s prohibition against truck parking in residential areas has been in place for years, but was not well defined and the fines were out of date, said Goode.
A bylaw committee has been struck to review the amendments and to identify potential solutions for truckers worried about where they will be able to safely park their units.
Second and third readings of the bylaw have yet to be scheduled, pending results from the bylaw committee, said Goode.
He anticipates the bylaw will come back to council late in January at the earliest.