Council sets reserve bids for auction

Bashaw, Alberta
Written by Stu Salkeld

Bashaw town council set reserve bids for two properties set for auction. The decision was made at the July 11 regular meeting of council.

Town Chief Administrative officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller presented councillors with a report on plans to auction two lots within the municipality, tax roll number 001522 located at 5035 49th Ave. which she reported has been assessed at $13,560, and tax roll number 001523 located at 5037 49th Ave., which has also been assessed at $76,200.

“The Municipal Government Act (MGA) provides that council must establish a reserve bid that is ‘ as close as reasonably possible to the market value of each parcel,’” stated Fuller in her report.

“Market value is arrived at between a willing, self-informed buyer and a willing, well-informed seller. Typically, the assessed values are used as market value/reserve bids.”

The CAO noted the town received a recommendation that a reserve bid for both lots combined should be $55,000.

Councillors unanimously passed two resolutions: the first set a reserve bid for the first property at $10,000, and the second resolution set a reserve bid for the second property at $50,000.

Telephone changes
Councillors discussed changes coming to provincial 911 telephone service and the fact it appeared to be more of a notification than a request for input.

Fuller stated in her report to councillors Telus has notified the town that the corporation is in the process of upgrading 911 service across Alberta, and these changes apparently required a new agreement with Bashaw, which was included.

“This does not appear to be optional,” stated Fuller in her report.

Coun. Cindy Orum stated she’d been approached by a local resident who was concerned about these changes and billing associated with them. She asked if local businesses had been consulted about the changes, and Fuller answered it looks as though the changes are mandatory and she was not aware of any consultation; however, there is another Telus related project that may include consultation, an “internet phone” program.

Fuller stated there have been some stability concerns aired about internet phones.
Councillors unanimously agreed to sign the new 911 agreement with Telus.

Inspection issues
During her regular report to councillors Fuller noted the town may face an issue with Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission certification.

Apparently water line check certification is being altered and the Town of Bashaw water operator would not be eligible to conduct them.

The CAO stated Bashaw wouldn’t be the only community facing this issue. She also stated that, upon investigation, it doesn’t appear in the agreement between the town and water commission that Bashaw is required to conduct the checks anyway.

Personnel updates
Councillors agreed to update the Town of Bashaw’s personnel policy that were described by Fuller in her report as “outdated.”

Among the outdated aspects to be changed were the public works foreman not qualifying for overtime pay, the public works foreman being paid $30 to attend council meetings, the definition of a personnel committee and a few others.

It appeared many of the changes were connected to what could be considered a conflict with the MGA’s section 201.(2) which notes, “A council must not exercise a power or function or perform a duty that is by this, or another enactment or bylaw specifically assigned to the CAO or a designated officer.”

Councillors unanimously approved the proposed changes to the personnel policy.

Public Works report
Public Works Foreman Patrick Taylor reported to councillors that the water fountain was dying; to address this problem he used a sump pump with some styrofoam and it appears to be working.

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.