Bashaw homeowner stunned with huge water bill

Written by ECA Review


A Bashaw property owner asked council for a reprieve on an unexpected $2,901 water bill.
A portion of a letter presented to council, during its regular meeting April 5, stated: “The February 2017 bill came in at approximately five to six times normal due to a water issue that was not addressed until we were informed of the expected bill.
“We do not expect the bill to be normalized as we realize our liability but I think any property owner would be shocked by a bill this size. We would appreciate any help or discount that council could provide on this one-time basis.”
Administration didn’t provide the name of the letter writer or property owner.
In Chief Administrative Officer’s (CAO) Theresa Fuller’s report to council, it was stated that a typical utility bill for a multi-family home is about $593 every two months.
CAO Fuller’s report said that when administration was reviewing bills in February they came across the bill and called the property manager. The water meter was removed for testing and it was found to be accurate.
Coun. Lynn Schultz said the town would be setting a precedent if they gave a discount.
Coun. Darren Pearson suggested council allow the owner to pay the bill over six months.
Council agreed to allow the homeowner to pay the bill over six months with no penalties unless the account goes into arrears.

Lodge stays open
Bashaw Valley Lodge is opening its dining area to the community and will market the facility as a retreat centre for overnight stays.
The lodge, which will continue as an Independent Seniors Living Complex, will also be used as community event centre and meeting space. Bashaw Town Council, during its regular meeting April 5, unanimously voted in favour of rezoning the lodge to allow for these new uses.
“It means a lot to everyone,” Lodge Manager Sam Kirsch told council afterwards. “Hopefully the community will also benefit from it.”
Council stipulated, however, that parking for increased use at the facility must be confined within the facility site. Camping will continue to be allowed but it has to be specific to events at the lodge and no more than five RV sites.
Last year the town approved the lodge as an independent seniors’ lodge that offered affordable room and board for independent seniors. Its goal was to offer 35 rentable suites that offered supportive living options and amenities as well as staff onsite 24-hours.
The lodge, however, last its license to be a seniors’ facility because it didn’t have the minimum number of residents so the owners wanted to expand its business model to keep the facility up and running.

Budget tabled
Council, during its regular meeting April 5, tabled its draft budget citing they want to see more details as a reason.
Coun. Bryan Gust said he was expecting a financial breakdown of departments and what specifically is going up or down.
Likewise, Coun. Lynn Schultz agreed.
“I would like to see a breakdown and go over it when I have time.”
Total revenue is estimated to be $1.1 million and and $1.8 million for expenses. The $757,304 shortfall would be offset through taxation.
This year’s budget includes $14,000 for painting the water tower, $16,000 for school enhancement and $13,000 for a pesticides cabinet.

Facelift for baseball bleachers
Bashaw town council dealt with a resident’s concern about the condition of the bleachers at the ball diamond and inadequate bathroom facilities. Administration didn’t reveal the name of the letter writer.
Coun. Lynn Schultz said the bleachers are sturdy and not a liability issue but need to be painted and some boards replaced.
Murray Holroyd, the town’s public work’s foreman, suggested the ball shed, which is being replaced by a sea-can, be converted into a couple of washrooms with flush toilets. It could be erected between the two diamonds, he said.
Coun. Bryan Gust suggested council price it out.
Coun. Schultz said that porta potties will be brought in this year.
Holroyd said public works is looking into costs to put concrete under the bleachers.

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