Council denies the encroachment request of F. C. Hunt Agencies

Written by Cheryl Bowman

Owner of F.C. Hunt Agencies Dale Emmett made a request to council to allow for his business to encroach on town property in order to have a wheelchair-accessible entryway by having a ramp constructed.

“The total cost will be paid by me,” said Emmett during the meeting on Mon. Jan. 9.

The request was originally sent to the Municipal Planning Committee (MPC) however the MPC is not allowed to approve an encroachment onto another person’s property.

For the registry office, the ability to have wheelchair access available to the front entrance is very important.

“I don’t think we want to lose our registries to centralization,” said F. C. Hunt Realtor Doug Zimmerman.

During the discussion members of council brought up points in favour and in opposition to the proposal.

“I understand where they are coming from but I just don’t feel that it is my decision to override the committee’s suggestion,” said Coun. Trudy Kilner.

Another big concern council had was who would be liable if someone was hurt using the ramp since it would be on town property.

Near the end of the discussion, Mayor Richard Elhard made a strong point in favour of the registry.

“I think it is absolutely imperative that we allow something like this. We could lose these kinds of places due to a lack of wheelchair accessibility. At the end of the day if we are trying to promote business in Castor it is an absolute must that we approve something like this,” said Elhard.

Council passed the motion to not permit the encroachment with two opposed and four in favour.

Gazebo request approved

Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) in partnership with the Castor and District Museum Society made a request to build a new gazebo between the old schoolhouse and the first power pole.

During discussion some safety concerns were raised which lead to the idea of having signs addressing the issue.

Castor and District Museum Representative Mike Bain addressed the councillor’s concerns regarding the potentially dangerous equipment in the area.

“The equipment exists there all the time so I don’t think it would cause greater risk than the risk there is already,” said Bain.

The gazebo will be paid for using a grant by FCSS which can only be used for outdoor spaces/equipment.

Council members were in favour of the idea as long as it falls within all development permit requirements.

“I think it would be wonderful to have something like that,” said Kilner.

The proposal was approved unanimously.

Spray Park feasibility

Council is looking at the feasibility of doing a spray park in the community as a way to continue to keep young families in the community.

After discussion council unanimously approved a motion to form a committee to look at cost, locations, liability, maintenance and possible fundraising opportunities.

Castor Winterfest

Diana Boxma addressed council with some requests to help with the Castor Winterfest activities.

Instead of a parade there will be wagons driving around instead and will be staged east of the elevator which the committee required that area be cleared of snow, and to also ensure that the roads were clear of snow as well.

Another request was for snow to be delivered by public works to businesses who wanted to participate in snow sculpting.

Council unanimously passed a motion to approve the requests within reason.

Sarah Baker
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.