The allocation of reserve funds were discussed at the Castor Town Council meeting on December 9, 2013.
Chief Executive Officer Sandi Jackson outlined that the Town has approximately $188,500 of capital and operational grant money still to be spent.
It was noted that a motion to allocate funds into reserve must be made before the end of the year, otherwise it would show up on the budget as surplus.
It was decided that $25,000 would be put in reserves for the Fire Department, $10,000 toward Garbage and $20,000 toward Gas for 2014.
Discussed was the potential use of Fire Department reserves to assist in payment of Breathing Apparatus’ valued at $5000 apiece, Garbage reserves to assist in the eventual need of a new truck and Gas funds to help in the payment of a line heater system.
Councillor Richard Elhard gave an overview of the Recreation Report, initiating the discussion by informing council that the Rec Board received a Community Spirit grant to the tune of $4000. Due to the grant application specifying the need for arena improvements, the money will be spent within these parameters once it is settled where to best allocate it.
He also outlined that the Rec Board would be inquiring on quotes on cameras for the Castor Arena. Some discussion ensued regarding incorporating swimming pool cameras so they can be viewed at the Town Office.
Recreation Assistant Shawna James attended the meeting to discuss plans for the Castor Pool.
“We don’t meet the Alberta standard, but right now we have no issues with the pool,” she said.
Though the pool is fully functional at present, James noted if anything were to go wrong it would more likely be shut down until the Alberta standards were met.
Mechanical room adjustments would bring the pool up to standard for it’s spring opening date by including an upgrade to the pool filter system, which would add a carbon unit to cut back on the amount of chlorine the pool would have to use.
“It’ll just put us a step more into the future,” James said of the upgrades.
The cost of a new filter and chemical feed would be $61,900.
Much discourse surrounded whether or not Council should look at a salt water chlorination unit that self-chloronates water without much outside maintenance. It was noted this would be an operational benefit as the system would be completely automatic.
Public Works Foreman Stan Boetcher cautioned that at times such systems aren’t as automatic as they claim and queried whether or not it was worth it to spend so much money on the present facility, rather than look to the future of a new pool. He noted issues such as a lack of staff room or first aid room as being detrimental to the present manifestation of the pool.
CAO Sandi Jackson noted that the price of a new pool would be “well over” the $2-million mark. It was noted that the Town has a budget of $100,000 for the pool.
As programming options are increasing yearly, more people are using the pool. This was seen as incentive to fix the pool to keep it securely running throughout 2014 and beyond.
Ultimately it was decided that the Town would apply for a grant with the County of Paintearth for assistance with the upgrade of the mechanical room before going ahead with the purchase. Upon a response from the County, Council will discuss plans moving forward at the next meeting.
Council adopted their temporary budget for 2014, continuing with the prior budget in the preliminary stages. Budget will be finalized around the month of May as per requisitions.