Frustration boils over

Bob Sattler has had enough.

Sattler, the manager and former owner of Hi-Pro Corporate Sportswear and Promotional Products on Coldstream Avenue, is frustrated with having to clean up garbage, needles and human excrement from around his business on a daily basis.

But when he received a $100 fine from City of Vernon bylaw for leaving a shopping cart full of items at the Gateway Shelter, that was the last straw.

Sattler's business is a block away from the shelter. He said he often has some of the street-entrenched population set up camp on his property, making a mess that he has to clean up.

On Thursday, Sattler found a small mattress and other items at the back door of his business. So he loaded the items into a shopping cart and took it to the shelter.

Sattler said he thought perhaps the owner of the items checked into the shelter, so he took the items to Gateway in case they needed them.

“A guy from bylaw stormed into today; no talking about it, no nothing, he just handed me a ticket for $100 for placing garbage without owner's consent,” said Sattler.

Sattler said workers at the shelter were upset when he left the items at the Gateway.

Sattler said he simply left the shopping cart next to the shelter, but Kelly Fehr with the John Howard Society that runs the shelter said there is video footage of Sattler dumping the contents of the shopping cart on the ground.

Fehr said he has known Sattler for a decade and holds him in high regard, having worked with him on charitable committees in the past.

Fehr said he understands and shares Sattler's frustration with the mess left behind by some of the street-entrenched population.

“I totally get what Bob is saying. I am just as frustrated as any other business in the community with the amount of garbage left out, the needles being discarded, the shopping carts...our view is no different than anyone else, it's absolutely frustrating,” said Fehr. 

“The unfortunate reality is, if one of his customers goes and litters somewhere, he is not responsible for that person's actions. If a customer that requires shelter services goes and dumps garbage somewhere, we are not responsible for that person's actions when they are outside of our building. When they are inside our building, we can hold them accountable.”

Fehr said the person who left the items at Hi Pro was not staying at the shelter and there is little the shelter can do.

Sattler said when the shelter first opened he supported the facility, but his frustration is growing. He feels the shelter attracts people who end up making a mess on his property.

Sattler said he has had enough of the discarded needles, drug use, prostitution and human waste in his backyard and wants something done.

“Bylaw said they can't come on to private property, the police say they can't do anything unless they are aggressive,” said a very frustrated Sattler, adding it is not fair that he has to clean up his property of a mess left by homeless citizens.

Sattler said he plans to fight the ticket.

Fehr said he was disappointed that Sattler posted the incident online and invited the business operator to call him anytime about the matter.

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