Bashaw town council discusses new public works foreman

Bashaw town council, from the left, back row: Mayor Rob McDonald, Coun. Bryan Gust, and Coun. Kye McIntosh. Front row: Coun. Cindy Orom and Coun. Jackie Northey. ECA Review/Screenshot
Written by Stu Salkeld

Bashaw town council discussed a topic of interest that seems to be circulating in the community, the hiring of a new public works foreman. The item was discussed at the Nov. 1 regular meeting of council.

The topic of Bashaw’s long-time Public Works Foreman Murray Holroyd’s retirement came up during the committee reports section of the agenda. 

Councillors discussed the fact that many people around Bashaw are discussing Holroyd’s retirement and the hiring of a new Public Works foreman, Patrick Taylor.

Several councillors noted that Holroyd should be recognized for his long service and the quality work that he performed. 

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller stated the previous council did recognize Holroyd and town staff also recognized him.

During the committee reports Coun. Bryan Gust summarized a handi-bus meeting he recently attended, telling his peers it was reported that bus ridership is down, presumably because of the pandemic, and higher fuel prices have been noted.

Also during committee reports Coun. Kyle McIntosh stated he heard from a resident who voiced concern about what the resident called the town’s “opaque budgeting process.”

Land sales

Fuller, in her regular report to councillors, stated vacant lots in the town remain on the market but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest. 

“Discussion with Kyle from Ramstad Realty,” stated the CAO’s report. “The current pricing is applicable, however if council preferred to sell the lots faster it is recommended to drop the pricing by $10,000 per lot.”

Fuller stated the low interest in vacant lots seems to be connected to the high cost of building at the present time.

She informed council that the previous council asked the CAO to advertise the lots online, which she did with no results. 

The previous council then instructed Fuller to work with local real estate agents to sell the lots.

It was noted all the lots in question are serviced. 

Fuller stated she would bring back information on the actual lot listings to a future council meeting so councillors can see it themselves.

Flush truck

Councillors discussed the regional flush truck; Fuller reported the truck probably needs to be replaced and it’s unclear if other partners are willing to participate again.

The CAO stated town staff found the truck to be quite useful, while regional partners seldom used it.

It was stated at the meeting the truck is used for work such as lift stations, storm drains and winter freeze-ups. 

“From our prospective, it’s a very useful piece of equipment,” said Fuller.

Community Centre

After Fuller presented the Bashaw Community Centre’s September financial report councillors discussed a recent change to the way the community centre’s utilities are handled. 

CAO Fuller noted the community centre will now be charged for their full water bill.

She told councillors that other utilities, gas and power, are paid half and half by the community centre and the town. 

However, the community centre will be expected to handle the water bill themselves.

Fuller stated other groups around town also pay their own water bills, including the Happy Gang seniors centre and the Ag Society.

One exception, noted the CAO, is the Bashaw Curling Club, which doesn’t pay a full water bill because it has a lease agreement that runs until 2024. Fuller stated at that time it’s expected the curling club’s water bill will be discussed.

Councillors accepted the financial report as it was presented.


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.