Gadsby viability study completion within sight

Since the Village of Gadsby’s council resigned in May, steps have been taken to keep the village running smoothly.

The financial portion of the viability study is complete while the infrastructure study is almost finished with a few more weeks left.

Much of the village has been assessed by the County of Stettler staff as they have been contracted for administerial duties as well as helping the lone public works foreman for the village.

Several issues, including 4th Street construction, was addressed by Yvette Cassidy, County of Stettler Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

The previous council had applied to do the storm drainage improvements and 4th Street paving project which was followed up on.

Extra money from the Federal Gas Tax (FGT) budget has allowed for this to move forward.

An approach was missed so they will be constructing that at a cost of $3,502 as well as lowering some lines for $3,852 and two twin culverts will be replaced as they are now completely rotted out at the bottom for $16,273.

“[The contractor] didn’t put enough space between what he was doing and the Paintearth Gas Co-op lines and Paintearth Gas Co-op was a little upset so we have to lower the lines,” said Cassidy.

Harold Johnsrude, the Official Administrator appointed by Municipal Affairs, approved the additional changes to the project.

All of the extra expenditures totalling $23,627 will be paid for through the village’s federal gas tax grant.

Wet weather has stalled progress on the 4th Street project but the county has already determined what they plan to do to make sure it is done properly.

“There are four different areas that we are focusing on right now that we are aware of,” said Rick Green, County of Stettler director of engineering and public works.

“One of them is obviously the contracted work going on 4th Street. Unfortunately, with all the wet weather the contractors are having a bad time out there as far as the ability to come in and finish.

“A lot of the things that were done compared to the contract and the design were not done correctly by the contract so we are laying a bit of a hammer down trying to get them to fix things when he gets back in. A lot of the work is going to have to be torn up and re-laid.”

The next project will be the culvert replacement.

A potential water leak directly east of 4th Street has been discovered as well but Green told the crowd that they will find more when the area is opened up for further investigation.

Financial report

CAO Cassidy made a detailed report surrounding the village’s finances up to June 30 since her and her team at the county have taken leadership of administration.

The previous administration had certain money allocated in other places which aren’t necessarily negative, it has taken time to get the finances organized to fit in with the rest of the county’s operations.

“We put this together and we are still working basically to clear up any abnormalities we found in the books.

“We are trying to make sure things are posted in the right place and I’m not saying that anybody did anything wrong, I’m just saying everybody has got a different way of doing things,” said CAO Cassidy.

Tax notices are expected to be sent out this week after certain issues have been straightened out.

“We’ve been reconciling the tax accounts from last year to make sure that they balance, that penalties have been calculated correctly, that the payments have been posted the right way, if there was anything added to the tax roll, and we’ve had a little bit of trouble getting all of that straight,” she continued.

Although the budget is showing a slight surplus, it was noted it was not the most accurate at this time.

The budget is not expected to be approved until August at the next council meeting.

The bulletin boards have been a solid way for both the county and residents to be in touch with upcoming news.

Utility personnel check the mail slot at the office daily and there has been a noticeable increase in people visiting the county office in Stettler.

MSI capital grant funding is given every year.

A run-down property within the village is expected to be demolished thanks to this funding.

CAO Cassidy told residents at the meeting that more bylaw enforcement is visiting the village for unsightly properties.

Water and sewer line issues are also being addressed as quickly as possible.

“If you have a problem or you have a question, just get a hold of us and we will try to get to you as quick as we can,” she said.

Auditor appointed

For the 2019 fiscal year, Chapman and Company Professional Accountants was appointed as Gadsby’s official accountants.

“It just makes sense to use the same auditor because if there was a new auditor there would need to be reviews and procedures and those kinds of things,” said Johnsrude.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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