Depressed economy, higher minimum wage affect Bashaw’s BDSS budget

Bashaw and District Community Support Services (BDSS) needs $58,365 in funding for 2017, an increase of $20,609 from 2016, Executive Director Christine Buelow told Bashaw town council during its regular meeting Jan. 5.
“It will help us maintain the current levels we have.”
The extra $20,609 would help pick up a shortfall in donations to BDSS, delays in receiving funding and increased costs because of the higher minimum wage.
Buelow said BDSS still receives sponsorship money from businesses but the amount they are able to contribute is down because of the economic downturn in Alberta.
Buelow told council that BDSS has about 16 core programs including Meals on Wheels, Tools for School, Generations Daycare and Community Outreach. Other programs include the Community Wellness Program, Roots of Empathy, Preschool program, Summer Reading Program, Santa’s Anonymous, Information and referral services.
According to Buelow’s report to council, statistic and tracking information indicate that Bashaw has a high need for support services in the areas of mental health, social supports, one-on-one counseling and navigation of government programs. BDSS is a non-profit organization that administers social programs in Bashaw.
Council accepted the presentation as information.
Council wants more information before proceeding with $28,200 for a four-foot by eight-foot digital sign to replace the black sign beside the arena.
The sign, which could accommodate 10 scrolling messages, could be used by others in the community to generate revenue to support recreation in Bashaw, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller said in her report to council Jan. 5.
The sign could potentially generate $108,864 in revenue throughout its lifetime.
Coun. Bryan Gust said he wants more information about the costs and details on Daysland’s sign. He also suggested the town solicit groups to buy in on the capital cost of the sign.
Coun. Rosella Peterman said the sign looked like a “very pricey proposition” and added she would like to see the community buy into it first.
Coun. Lynn Schultz agreed and suggested council table the item until they can discuss it more and get additional information.
“It needs further discussion.”
Council unanimously voted in favour of tabling the item.

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