Castor Council: Two per cent tax rate increase approved

Castor town council moved to pass the third and final reading of Tax Bylaw 1099-2024, endorsing the proposed two per cent hike in residential and non-residential mill rates and set the minimum tax threshold at $600 per property.

Tax rate increases and other council matters were discussed during the Town of Castor’s regular council meeting on May 27.

This recommendation stemmed from discussions concerning escalating costs and projects requiring attention.

Tree replacement
Council addressed the town’s tree replacement strategy, focusing on the annual removal of boulevard trees and subsequent stump grinding.

Plans for the year include fulfilling tree removal requests from residents and targeting trees affected by factors like smoke damage, fire damage, or structural issues.

Approximately 10 trees across town and 12 stumps are slated for removal and grinding, respectively.

Moreover, the council revealed intentions to introduce Linden trees along 50 street, subject to availability, and to plant small fruit tree seedlings around the water plant in the community orchard.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Donna Rowland highlighted that last year’s dry conditions hindered new tree planting efforts due to challenges in maintaining adequate watering.

“Our planted trees were not looked after,” noted Coun. Trudy Kilner. “If we are going through all that time and expense to plant trees, we need to water them.”

Mayor Richard Elhard concurred, stating, “Last year, they suffered.”

The council motioned to accept the update as information.

Sink installation
Paintearth Adult Learning sought permission to install an enclosed sink with a countertop in the boardroom of the Paintearth Adult Learning Office. The addition would be included in the library washroom renovation project, with Paintearth Adult Learning Center covering the kitchenette portion’s costs.

Council motioned to grant permission to Paintearth Adult Learning for the kitchenette installation, in line with the Town of Castor’s procurement policies.

Sidewalk replacement
Each year, the Town of Castor allocates funding from the Gas Tax fund (GTF) for sidewalk replacement. Administration presented five options for consideration in 2024.

Of the five, the administration recommended three of the options; the Devonian curb and wheelchair ramps on the northeast corner of 50 Avenue and 51 Street at a cost of $9,800, the north side of 51 Avenue at a cost of $20,000 and the north side of 51 Avenue between 49 and 51 Street up to but not including the United church at a cost of $16,000.

Council motioned to table the decision to allow council members time to examine the suggested sites for a future meeting.

Cheryl Bowman
Multimedia Reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Cheryl Bowman

Cheryl spent most of her childhood in Stettler, growing up on a quarter section north of town. After graduating from Stettler Composite High School she moved to Calgary where she worked in various industries, attended The University of Calgary and raised a family.

She enjoyed volunteering and contributed in a variety of ways, such as writing articles for the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and covering charitable events as a photographer.

She moved back to Stettler in 2023 where she still has family.