The emergency 911 call centre can quite literally be a lifeline for many.
At the County of Paintearth meeting on Tues. Oct. 22, council determined an upgrade to the current 911 radio services within the area was necessary after two letters requesting support were given.
The Town of Castor and the East Central 911 Call Answer Society asked council for financial support of this upgrade as the system they have now is “nearing the end of their life cycle and no longer working.”
An upgraded system will allow 911 calls to take priority on the system by pushing other signals out of the way.
Castor administration provided a quote for two separate units; one being $11,066 and the other being $17,149.
The difference other than price was that only the more expensive option has the priority of signal for emergency crews as it has the technology to do so.
“It would be silly to install the cheap one,” said Coun. Diane Elliott. Coun. George Glazier added, “With the cheaper one, you also run the risk of interference from any other [person] using it.”
A motion was made by Coun. Elliott to put money towards the expensive option, having this funding divided between the three parties.
The Shirley McClellan Regional Water Services Commission (SMRWSC) consists of 16 municipalities in the area.
This board approved the debenture of the Commission’s portion of phase four and five.
The total debenture is $603,960.28 and the County of Paintearth has the option to prepay its share of the debenture at $70,214.39 or make annual payments for 25 years.
The county agreed to prepay as it saves over $25,000 in interest over that 25 year lifespan.
Their water reserves will be decreased by $70,214.39 to prepay the County’s share of the debenture.
Administration made it clear the reserves were “sufficiently funded to handle this.”
Castor curling team sponsorship
The Castor Boys Curling Team was granted $500 for their upcoming Alberta U18 Curling Tour.
With a full schedule for the fast-approaching season, the team consisting of skip Darien Dunkle, third Joe Brigley, second Jules Fetaz, lead Jaxon Michielson and coach Dwayne Dunkle, is already hard at work preparing for their first bonspiel on Nov. 22 in Lacombe.
They mentioned in their letter to council that advertising can be arranged with the visibility of a logo on their curling attire.
Council felt the support was justified as they have given other sports teams within the county the same amount of funding throughout 2019.
Shallow Gas Tax Relief
While property taxes are collected by municipalities, the assessment model used by municipalities to set tax rates for linear properties such as wells and pipelines is determined by the province. The model has not been updated since 2005 and does not reflect circumstances faced by many shallow gas producers with older, lower productivity assets.
The situation has been made worse by lower commodity prices and other economic conditions and has required the province to take action.
The County authorized the credit to associated tax rolls and applicable penalties in the amount of 35 per cent for two companies.
One pipeline adjustment total was $2,143.51 with associated cancelled penalties at $368.01.
A well adjustment total of $3,232.99 and associated cancelled penalties $201.14 was also granted.
Council authorized the cancellation and/or refund of the 2019 property taxes paid or owing so as to reduce by 35 per cent property taxes levied as per the Municipal Government Act (MGA) which includes municipal property taxes, requisitions as well as special taxes levied where the tax rate is based on the assessment.
This funding will be coming out of the school requisition but will quickly be replaced as the fund acts as an in and out account for this relief program to work.
“This is very easy for us to manage in our case position,” said Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michael Simpson.
As a common theme throughout the province, municipalities are slowly passing bylaws that reflect new agreements with their surrounding neighbours.
For the County of Paintearth, three motions were passed to implement an Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) with the County of Stettler, Flagstaff County and Special Areas.
What these IDPs do is ensure that long-term growth along a shared municipal boundary is coordinated and provides assurance to residents that live within the plan area of future development goals.
It emphasises on working together towards a common goal while an Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) maximizes current collaboration methods in times of conflict.