Bashaw Fire Chief Mike Andriatz and Deputy Fire Chief Jordan Lee asked council to push the neighbouring counties to help finance replacing the town’s rescue fire truck.
Andriatz said the town could ask Camrose County to be a liaison with Lacombe and Ponoka counties with their regional agreement for the purchase. If the counties don’t want to help finance a new truck then the Town of Bashaw would charge the counties more for mutual aid calls.
Andriatz told council the age of the current rescue vehicle is showing, adding that the vehicle had an electrical fire about four months ago.
“It’s not that trustworthy but we’re making do,” said Andriatz.
The Bashaw Fire Department has already fundraised about $40,000 towards the purchase of the vehicle.
Council passed a motion to engage neighbouring counties in a conversation about helping fund a new rescue vehicle.
Council defers capital budget
Bashaw Town Council got its first kick at its $4.1 million 2016 capital budget during its regular meeting March 3 and suggested deferring a few projects.
The upgrade to card lock at bulk water septic station and lagoon berm rehabilitation will likely be put on the back burner.
But the town plans to move ahead with the purchase of much needed specialized fire fighting equipment for $35,000. About $85,000 of the cost is expected to be covered through MSI grant funding.
Other items being considered in this year’s capital budget include a transfer switch for the water plant; main line water valve repair at 50 Ave. and 50 St.; Wastewater collection and treatment work such as lagoon cleaning; tree shearing; a coin billing mechanism at the fresh water system; and upgrades to the alley in the industrial area to handle truck traffic.
Council asked administration to look at staging the $3.1 million 54 Ave. pavement and sewer line repairs instead of doing it all in 2016.
Administration will bring back a revised capital budget to council at its next meeting.
Council passes operating budget
Bashaw Town Council passed its $1.7 million 2016 operating budget with a 2.15 per cent tax increase for residents.
This year’s operating budget includes a three per cent salary increase for staff and new computers at a cost of $5,700.
Mayor Penny Shantz said she liked having only a 2.15 per cent increase as opposed to three per cent.
Coun. Lyn Schultz also said he wanted to see the tax increase kept under three per cent.
“2.15 per cent is good for the way the economy is right now.”
Included in the operating budget is $25,000 for the physician retention program.
Tyler Schickerowsky from the Bashaw Curling Club asked town council to allow them to have camping at the curling club in July for a Bunnock event.
In addition, they want council to allow trailers to park along the north side of the arena and south side, and parking lots across from the police station. They also want fire pits to be allowed.
Coun. Lynn Schultz said council talks about wanting to see its facilities to be used and added,
“What better way to get used.”
Coun. Rosella Peterman said the event will bring traffic into town, thus helping local businesses.
Council, however, said they don’t want to see fire pits used.
Administration will look into liability issues plus how much the group should charge for camping and bring back to the next meeting.