Bashaw residents ask about becoming Camrose County residents

Bashaw, Alberta
Written by Stu Salkeld

A family that owns property within the Town of Bashaw mused before town council if it would be possible for their property to become part of Camrose County. The discussion was held at the April 5 regular meeting of council.

In a phone call to the ECA Review April 12 town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller described the delegation of Brian and Amy Bendfeld who live at NE4-42-21 W4M who requested to speak directly to town council about four issues: property taxes, address, subdivision and re-zoning.

Fuller stated that even though the Bendfelds have what appears to be a rural land description for their address, their property is within the boundaries of the Town of Bashaw.

The Bendfelds told council some people have trouble locating their property because of the address issue and would like the town to place a blue-coloured address sign for them similar to what rural residences have.

During the meeting, the Bendfelds asked how their property could become part of Camrose County rather than part of the Town of Bashaw.

The Bendfelds told councillors they operate their property as a farm and feel their tax bill is too high; Fuller stated the Bendfeld property is zoned urban expansion.

The Bendfelds also noted their desire to subdivide their property. Fuller stated subdivision applications are handled by the Town of Bashaw’s planning contractor, Camrose County, and once the application had been through the county’s process it would be forwarded to the town in the future.

The CAO noted annexation, the transfer of the Bendfeld’s property from one municipality to another, is a complicated process that involves multiple stakeholders.
Councillors accepted the Bendfeld’s presentation as information and also passed a resolution that the CAO prepare a report for a future meeting responding to the Bendfeld’s concerns and requests.

Hazardous waste
The town council’s decision a few weeks ago to ask Camrose County for financial help in hosting a hazardous waste round-up event has paid off for the Town of Bashaw. Town council read a letter from Camrose County noting the rural municipality had decided to grant $1,000 for such an event.

Fuller reminded councillors the hazardous waste round-up is a bi-annual event hosted by the town and the last time it was held the town faced expenses of over $4,000. This year, noted Fuller, it was estimated expenses would be almost doubled to over $7,000.

As Camrose County residents have been known to attend the event Bashaw council felt it was productive to ask the county to pitch in.

Fuller reported councillors were happy to see the Camrose County money and decided the event will remain on the schedule.

It was also decided that at the hazardous waste round-up town staff would collect information from everyone who attends to better understand where the waste is coming from.

Too much grass
Councillors decided they want staff to issue a request for proposal for grass-cutting at the municipal cemetery. Fuller stated councillors were curious what contractors would charge to care for the cemetery for the summer.

The CAO noted town staff had some trouble keeping up with grass-cutting last year and the town received some complaints from the public about tall grass at the cemetery.

New policies
Councillors approved a new policy while two others were tabled to a future meeting.

The CAO noted Coun. Kyle McIntosh had requested she look into developing three new policies to reflect how people acquire town information: a social media policy, a proclamations policy and a communications policy.

Councillors approved the proclamations policy, which also includes letters of support and recognitions, but tabled the other two for further revision.

Closed session
Fuller noted the April 5 council meeting originally included a 90-minute closed session to discuss legal matters and staff. However, she noted not all guests asked to attend the session could make it so it was cut short.

She noted councillors passed no resolutions after their closed session.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.