Bashaw council considering increased user fees for meeting room rental

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Those renting the Centennial Room in Bashaw’s arena may have to pay more upfront after council agreed to review its rental rates.
Non-profit groups use the room for free and for-profit users are charged $12 per hour but council is considering charging an up-front fee that will act as a damage deposit.  Council agreed a fee is likely necessary to encourage users to clean up after themselves.
Coun. Lynn Schultz said that if people using the room don’t clean it afterwards, the town has to pay for its staff to do the job instead. He added that if a group cleans up the room afterwards, they would have their deposit returned.
Coun. Rosella Peterman said the town should make the cleaning fee high enough to discourage people from leaving the room a mess after use.
Coun. Bryan Gust said that if the town implements a fee/damage deposit then the town would also need someone to inspect the room but he agreed there should be a minimum charge.
Mayor Penny Shantz suggested that the town’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller discuss the issue with staff and bring back suggestions.

Council briefs
Bashaw council approved a motion to increase the amount put into restricted surplus.
The town has $507,601 in restricted surplus from 2016. They voted in favour of bringing the amount to $947,066 by Dec. 31, 2017.
Bashaw approved $36,200 in capital projects including painting the water tower, washrooms for the ball diamond and cement under the ball diamond bleachers.
Council, during its regular meeting June 15, approved the funding to come out of its restricted surplus.  At its May 18 meeting council approved the capital projects.
Council gave first, second and third and final reading to an oversize commercial vehicle bylaw to charge a $25 fee for each application.
The town participates in the oversize commercial vehicle permit process through Alberta Transportation.
CAO Fuller, in her report to council, said that Camrose County charges a $50 flat fee. Bashaw processes about one to three permits a month, she added.
Municipal Affairs notified the town on June 5 that it will perform a detailed assessment audit for the town. The audit is aimed at providing an unbiased opinion on the quality of the 2016 assessment roll.
The audit will identify any opportunities to improve performance and quality of the assessments.

Lisa Joy
ECAReview reporter

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