Castor council passes two per cent mill rate increase

Written by ECA Review

Castor town council has passed bylaw #1096, which will increase the mill rate by two per cent for residential and non-residential properties. Bylaw 1096 was passed at the council’s regular meeting on May 8, following a recommendation from the administration.

During the meeting, the council discussed two options for setting the mill rate. Administration two per cent the increase.

CAO Donna Rowland said, “We tried really, really hard to hold the line with what the interim budget was. And it says we were over in a lot of our areas, like over 25 per cent of what was spent in the first quarter.”

Rowland explained that due to some unexpected projects they have already had this year, such as the water lines and equipment repairs. She is confident that with the two per cent increase to the mill rate, the town would be able to meet all of its requirements and continue to provide all the services they currently have.

The increase in the mill rate is not consistent for everyone; the property assessment also determines the mill rate.

Councillor Cecil Yates stated, “if we did the two per cent, it would be, in actuality, a three per cent. With the assessment on some properties, that would only be two points.”

Rowland responded that there was fluctuation from assessment, some assessments would go up, and others would go down.

With the mill rate increase, the Town of Castor will be able to continue with the capital projects they are working on.

The increase in funds will be allocated to different departments within the town. The legislative department will receive 22.3 per cent, protective services will receive 7.4 per cent, and recreation and facilities will receive 21.9 per cent. Public Works will receive 19 per cent, garbage will receive four per cent, and utilities will receive 25.3 per cent.

“​​I’m quite confident that we will be able to meet all of our requirements and be able to still provide all the services that we currently do,” Rowland said.

Baseball diamond upgrades
The Castor Raiders 22U Jr. AAA team proposes to upgrade the Town of Castor’s diamond #2 outfield.

Jeff Bowen spoke to the Castor council saying that in the late winter, Baseball Alberta contacted him to discuss reforming the program.

The project has been supported and encouraged by the community, “so we started batting some ideas around the theme on some things that we felt were neat ideas, and, again, obtaining some quotes and reaching out to different organizations and businesses around town to see if they were interested in helping with some of the costs, volunteering, some labourers some equipment and things like that,” Bowen said.

The project’s first phase would be to get a new scoreboard that would be purchased with grant money from the Waste Connection of Canada. The scoreboard would be for the entire community to enjoy.

The second phase would be to remove the shale from the diamond and prepare it for topsoil, sod and irrigation instalments. The Castor Raiders 22U AAA would care for the newly planted sod for the summer to ensure it forms roots by fall.

Marketing plan
The Town of Castor is continuing their marketing campaign to attract more people to the community and foster its growth.

The marketing campaign is being used as a stepping block for the town to continue building from so that everything they do is consistent.

“We put together our colour palette, our brand, our visual identity and how that needs to look going forward,” said the community services director Tara Jenkins.

Jenkins also explained that they have done a lot of work on their social media. They have put together a Linkedin profile which has been beneficial for hiring.

“Everything we have put on our social media has been branded lately,” Donna Rowland said.

They are working on creating a new brochure as the current one is outdated. The brochure will highlight community attractions and will be shared outside of the community.

They will also be working on creating two maps; one will be a visitor map and the other will be a detailed map of the walking trails.

The town will also continue radio advertising in other communities to reach more people.

The Town of Castor is hoping to bring more people into their community.

Jessica Campbell
ECA Review

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