Castor Library seeking options to upgrade bathroom accessibility

Written by Terri Huxley

Board member Lynn Sabo and manager Tess Griebel of the Castor Municipal Library Board came to the County of Paintearth council chambers Tues. Sept. 14 to seek renovation funding assistance for the library’s bathroom.

The entire project is expected to exceed $40,000 as one rough estimate was given.

It is planned to have the library washroom, which is shared with the Adult Learning Centre, be more accessible by creating wheelchair access and overall updates.

“We want to create a welcoming space for the community,” said Sabo.

The board is keen on applying for the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) Grant which “provides financial assistance to acquire, build, purchase, repair, renovate, upgrade or expand sports, recreational, cultural or other related public-use community facilities” as stated on the Government of Alberta website.

If the project is under $120,000, this particular grant acts as a matching grant where the board or whoever applies must provide half of the funding.

Volunteering will also be accepted.

The board will have to come up with $20,000 which they asked council to consider sharing in the expenses as budget deliberations approach come October.

No decisions were made at this time but council agreed to consider putting some of this funding in the budget for next year.

Truth and reconciliation Day

The International Union of Operating Engineers sent forth a letter to the county requesting municipalities recognize September 30 as Truth and Reconciliation Day, making it a statutory holiday.

Councillor Wiart asked council if they wanted two stat holidays in a month which council was perplexed by.

The desire to honour their heritage as County of Paintearth with deep indigenous roots was still held by council but a statutory holiday was not the answer.

Administration pointed out that this day was the second tax deadline day which makes for a busy time and compounded with the short notice did not bode well.

Instead, council agreed to make a proclamation for Truth and Reconciliation Day as acknowledgement with plans to make a more elaborate acknowledgment next year with write ups, displays and more as time allows.

Trucking help

Aaron Compton of the Castor Community Golf Course asked council by letter to help haul a load of washed sand from Torrington, Alta. as done in the last decade.

This year, the course is requested the county haul approximately 35 tonne as per usual

Public works had no issues with the request so council passed a motion to allow this request.

Outstanding taxes written off

The province announced a funding cut of 25 per cent for Grants in Place of Taxes (GIPOT) in 2019 and a further 25 per cent cut for 2020.

They have asked municipalities to not change the tax notices that are sent into the Province; they will adjust the payment that they forward.

In 2020, the county passed a motion to write off $10,928.90 (50 per cent) in bad debt related to GIPOT on roll #37142466.

The County sent in the application for GIPOT for this tax roll number and received notification that it was denied.

The reason provided was that the land previously known as Crowfoot Crossing Rest Area had been surveyed and registered as a Road Plan in September 2019.

The County nor Terry Willoughby had been advised of this change, so did not have any knowledge/notification that this had been done.

In June 2021 the County received a 305.1 change from Terry Willoughby to void the current year tax levy of $21,776.62 and change this property to be exempt for 2021 and going forward for future years.

“AT (Alberta Transportation) pulled a fast one on us,” said community services director Todd Pawsey.

The County will need to write off the remaining balance from 2020 of $10,928.90 in outstanding taxes as this will not be paid by the Government of Alberta.

Council passed a motion to do just that, also suggesting a letter of concern be sent to share their displeasure toward this situation.

Gravel Contract filled

After tendering out to secure a gravel source under contract for the county’s road gravelling program, two tenders were received ‘that appear to be substantially compliant on all requirements’.

Brockhoff Enterprise Ltd. was the lowest qualifying tender at $3,272,500 for a 3-year supply and delivery contract.

Council passed a motion to go with this company for the stated price.

This tender will provide the county with a two-year supply and delivery in 2022 and 2024 of 110,000 tonne of 3/4 inch transportation spec road gravel to three different stockpile sites.

The county will also have 60,000 tonnes in 2023 crushed, stockpiled within 55 km of the Bulwark site.

County trucks will deliver and pile this gravel at two different locations during 2023 and 2024.

Securing this contract will give the county approximately four years of gravel remaining at all gravel stockpile sites till the end of 2025.

After-school program clarification

A letter from Gus Wetter School was given to council to shed more light on the after-school program and its significance to the community after it was recently requested by the county.

A motion was made at a prior county meeting to give the program $5,000, half of the requested $10,000, contingent on the Town of Castor doing the same.

After the town’s recent meeting, it was decided that county council rescind their previous motion, choosing instead to give the $5,000 regardless of what Castor chose as they deemed the program an important one for the community.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.