Bashaw town councillors discussed the issue of derelict vehicles sitting on local streets for long periods of time. The issue was discussed at the Sept. 3 regular meeting of council.
Coun. Rob McDonald stated he was concerned about an old pick up truck parked for long periods of time on 51st street that comes up by the Catholic Church.
Long enough, stated McDonald, that trees are growing up around it.
CAO Fuller noted the Town of Bashaw does have a bylaw governing how long vehicles can remain parked on a public street.
McDonald stated he examined the truck and its plates have up-to-date stickers.
Coun. Lynn Schultz said that if it has current plates, technically it’s not derelict.
McDonald said though, “That truck has not moved…”
Schultz finished his sentence for him. “…for two years, anyhow.”
Councillors also discussed an empty trailer parked on a public street for at least a year. McDonald noted unhooked trailers aren’t allowed to be parked on Bashaw streets at all.
Fuller stated the town would look into the complaints.
Councillors read a report from Fuller noting the town participates in the aggregate energy procurement program, and there is talk that this could be a good time to lock rates in, especially electricity.
Fuller stated certain prices have been lower than expected.
Coun. Schultz said with low prices, a 50/50 blended locked-in and floating rate for natural gas is a good idea.
Coun. McDonald noted that coal plants are switching to natural gas, which could cause prices to go up.
Councillors decided to stick with much the same plan they currently have, power will be at a fixed rate and natural gas at a 50/50 split up to the year 2025.
Opening the arena
Fuller gave an update on opening the Bashaw arena, with installation of ice around mid-September.
Fuller stated COVID-19 protocols must be followed, such as an indoor gathering limit of 100 people, including players.
Coun. Schultz stated he doubted that would be a problem.
Coun. Darren Pearson stated he doubted that the concession would be open at all.
Coun. McDonald noted the schools are not allowing parents in to watch sporting events and Mayor Penny Shantz stated it doesn’t appear parents are even allowed in the school at all.
She stated it looks like minor hockey and figure skating seasons will go ahead but it doesn’t sound like a lot of tournaments or special events will be held.
It appears minor hockey games will start around the beginning of October.
Public Works Foreman Holroyd noted he’s heard COVID-19 concerns from staff related to working in the arena.
Federal gas tax
Fuller returned the subject of federal gas tax money to council from a previous meeting. In August, councillors had discussed using the $50,000 grant for the lagoon project.
Fuller reported the federal government told her that if the funds are used for the lagoon, the federal government will reduce other grant funds it may provide for that project.
Coun. McDonald suggested spending the gas tax money on a new sander truck and use reserves for the lagoon. Coun. Schultz agreed.
Council asked Holroyd what the town would do if no new sander truck was purchased and Holroyd answered the staff would make the most of the old truck.
Holroyd suggested using the grant money for sewer repair, and using the sewer repair money for the sander truck.
Fuller stated she would research whether the gas tax funds could be used for the sander truck and report back at a future meeting.
Councillors discussed lots in town that have had little or no grass cutting in 2020. Fuller stated the town would attempt to contact the owners and have the grass cut.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter