Paintearth County, Castor, Coronation strike agreement for recreation

Written by Terri Huxley

At County of Paintearth’s latest council meeting on Tues. Oct. 5, leaders from Castor and Coronation were present to sign an agreement focused on recreation to share the costs of operating the recreational facilities and providing the recreational programs and services provided.

Two agreements were signed following a motion made by county councillors to enter them – one for Castor and one for Coronation.

One outlining portion of the agreement states that if there is any year that the operating costs of the recreational facilities exceed revenues received, the town and county agree to fund that operating deficit.

“We covered a lot of ground,” stated Castor Mayor Richard Elhard. “It’s in our best interest to be as efficient as we can in the interest of all parties including the county.”

“The way the agreement is structured now – it steps away from a specific dollar amount for operational costs,” explained Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michael Simpson. “The potential support is handcuffed to their [Castor and Coronation] own means to deliver.

He noted that the county and towns are funding the potential as they will now split the cost 50/50 as both parties have roughly the same number of users.

Elhard added that the conversations that have led to these agreements give county council an idea of how large of a deficit the towns can run when it comes to recreational facilities.

The agreements take effect January 1, 2022.

Castor Bus Society appointment

Administration posed the question of whether to have a councillor sit on the recently formed Castor and Community Bus Society board.

Council, after discussion, felt the best option is to have someone be appointed as a representative to not only help in decision making at this level but also bring word back to the county if there are any questions or requests for support.

Coun. Diane Elliott shared that the similar Coronation board meets once every three months as they are fortunate to have an excellent coordinator. She added that in the case of Castor, it would be valuable to have a representative.

CAO Simpson added that the Castor Bus Society has formed as a means to up fundraising including the ability to host a casino or other endeavours in light of increased insurance costs.

Coronation’s bus board has a deal with the town where insurance is run through the town for cheaper rates and the town also donates $5,000 annually to support its function.

County council passed a motion to create the position and will have the person to join decided upon at the organizational meeting coming up.

Councillor appointments

A few revisions and deletions were made to the procedural bylaw which council passed motions individually for each administrative request.

The first was to remove some committees as they have disbanded or the county is no longer interested in supporting these groups.

This includes the Assessment Negotiating Committee which is now undertaken by Municipal Affairs, Canadian Badlands Tourism Association (disbanded), Red Deer River Municipal Users Group (last payment was on 2020-01-17 for $525.50) and the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance where no payment has been made since 2012.

Council’s consideration is requested to change the County Member at Large appointments from the current one year term to a two or three-year term to provide continuity and eliminate the need to send letters and have representatives sign off on the Code of Conduct every year.

The external committees are Castor & District FCSS which currently has one at large member on a one year term as well as the Coronation Doctor Recruitment/Retention Committee. 

Lastly, the Coronation & District Support Services committee has two County at Large Members on one year terms.

Council agreed to extend all terms to three years.

Non-Residential Tax Incentive Bylaw

A culmination of work for county administration over the past two-three years has come to a final point in terms of economic development.

The Non-Residential Tax Incentive Bylaw has been revised to include defined capital costs, the elimination of the deferral definition, and deals with timelines and exemptions in an effort to create an easier, more defined pathway for developers and administration.

“Overall I think we did a good job that makes the process almost automatic so there is no uncertainty for developers,” said CAO Simpson.

Council passed all three readings of the new bylaw bringing it into effect.

Senate candidate no-show

Pam Davidson, Senate Candidate and Alexandra Carlile of Alberta Counsel were scheduled to appear virtually during the regular council meeting on Tues. Oct. 5.

The pair asked the county to attend to hear about current concerns the county has.

After approximately 20 minutes of waiting, they did not attend nor give any notification of their absence.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.