Castor town council concerned about paving quality

Written by Stu Salkeld

Castor town council is concerned about the quality of paving recently completed in the municipality. Council gave instructions to its staff regarding these concerns at the July 12 regular meeting of council.

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Christopher stated that Coun. Kevin McDougall requested council discuss the condition of major paving work done recently within Castor, including Main Street.

Robblee stated during the meeting the work being referred to involved Alberta Transportation and that he contacted the provincial government department to find out if the contractor involved was returning because it appeared the work wasn’t finished.

Robblee, who noted the material in question was described as “microsurface,” stated there is paving material built up in gutters and patched potholes. “They’re full of tar,” said Robblee, referring to drains. 

Robblee reported Alberta Transportation forwarded the concerns to the contractor in question.

Coun. McDougall stated he was concerned about the quality of paving. “I just thought it was kind of a crappy job,” said McDougall.

Mayor Richard Elhard agreed, saying, “It seems rough. It doesn’t seem like a finished product.”

Coun. Rod Zinger said the work has pros and cons. “It looks pretty but it sure is rough,” said Zinger. Zinger noted that he thought microsurface is a material used to fill in ruts on highways.

McDougall stated if you don’t speak up about concerns, then it’s assumed you don’t have a problem with the work. 

Robblee stated the town will wait and see what response comes from the contractor.

Tabled tower

Councillors decided to table a quote for the design and engineering of a radio tower. CAO Robblee presented a quote from WesTower Communications of Calgary which totalled $6,216, including tax.

Councillors discussed the size of the quote and the qualifications of WesTower. 

Robblee responded that there aren’t a lot of companies around that do this kind of work, and WesTower was referred to them from another municipality.

Robblee stated that a study found Castor’s current radio tower is overloaded and needs repair.

Councillors decided they needed time to think this over and decided to table the radio tower decision to a future meeting.

Course contractor

Robblee presented councillors with a draft agreement between the Town of Castor and the Castor Golf Club. It was stated this draft agreement came about as a result of the town and golf club discussing which organization owned what at the course.

The CAO stated a catch existed: the golf club stated it would not sign an agreement that gives the town any type of exit clause.

Coun. Zinger asked why bother with a new agreement, why not just keep the existing one? 

Zinger stated if the town does this with one group, it may be expected to do it with all groups. He also wondered if perhaps an in-person meeting between the two groups would help clarify things.

Mayor Elhard stated the Castor Golf Club is an excellent asset to the community.

Robblee noted the golf club requested the agreement to clarify ownership of assets. 

Robblee said he looked at the agreement Coronation has with its golf club, but the Castor Golf Club turned that one down. The CAO noted the town is liable for everything, which is why exit clauses are included.

Coun. Trudy Kilner stated she felt it best if town council meets with the golf club board. Councillors passed a resolution to that effect.

Handi-van request

Councillors turned down a request from the local Handi-van group to use the former fire hall as storage or parking for the group’s vehicles. 

Coun. Kilner stated she had an interest in this topic as it could be connected to the lodge, and excused herself from the discussion.

Councillors discussed the request, including how much it would cost the town rather than renting out the facility, which would generate revenue.

Arena facelift

Councillors instructed Robblee to get quotes for painting of the arena’s exterior after reading a memo on the subject.

Robblee stated councillors recently toured the arena and were aware the north and south interior walls require painting. 

A quote for the work was just slightly over $20,000. 

“The budgeted amount for this project was $10,000,” stated Robblee’s memo, who further noted that was for painting of the arena exterior.

He stated the rest of the money would have to be approved by council to be moved from the unrestricted surplus account. 

Instead, Coun. Zinger suggested the town get quotes for painting just the arena exterior, which he guessed would come in at less than $10,000. 

Councillors unanimously passed a resolution to that effect.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.