Recreation funding

Mayor Penny Shantz and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller visited Stettler County chambers on Tues. Nov.13 to ask for additional funding towards recreation.

The Bashaw Arena is run by none other than the town and they serve Bashaw Minor Hockey as well as the Bashaw Skating Club. Two adult teams, the Bashaw Bruins and the New Norway Nordics, play regularly in town as well.

They have been collecting statistics since 2015 to determine where users of the rink reside.

Stettler County has been consistent with supplying eight to nine people each year minus this year at three. Camrose County, on the other hand, provides roughly 50 participants.

Annual operating funds from Camrose county includes $20,000 plus $10,000 to $14,000 for specific programming like yoga and boot camps.

The arena is constantly run at a $50,000 deficient offset by tax dollars.

“The community really recognizes and supports a symbiosis that happens where the arena brings people to town. They may buy at the store or eat at the restaurant,” said Fuller.

They continue to utilize ice fees and grant funding to cover operations as much as possible and special projects such as LED lighting and kitchen concession renovations.

The Zamboni needs to be replaced at the cost of $110,000 and they need to reroof soon as well.

Shantz and Fuller hoped to open up dialogue between the county and town as to what can be done to help with funding the arena.

County Coun. James Nibourg asked if they would get the same ice rental fees as locals. CAO Fuller explained that if there is a large amount of users this can be made possible.

“I’ll be honest, I have rented ice up to about two or three years ago when you changed formula and you priced yourselves out of the market. I could almost rent the Collicut for the same price for the amount of time,” said Nibourg.

Coun. Wayne Nixon mentioned that their cost-sharing agreement contributions are a lot higher than what Camrose County is currently giving the town.

“As a town within the County of Camrose, I would think maybe they should be supporting you a little bit more than they are just from our own experience,” said Nixon.

Coun. Les Stulberg joined in the conversation stating the county must be mindful of what kind of precedence they are setting.

County Council accepted the presentation as information.

Youth Foundation numbers increasing

Jennifer Elias and Candace Hewlett of the Bashaw Youth Foundation gave council an update on the day-to-day inner workings of the foundation on Thurs. Nov. 15.

After School Programming has been attended well.

“We’ve made quite a few changes and improvements to our programming in the last year so it’s taken a little while for the kids to adjust to more structure but it’s being received really well,” said Elias.

Core values of the program such as inclusion, respect of property, self-esteem and empowerment and collaboration.

Children ages 5 to 11 visit after school where they provide educational activities like weekly creative cooking.

A science program has been the other favourite. It focuses on physics and engineering so the children do different crafts like levers and catapults.

The large support from the Amazing Race last year made the game a massive success which kids still request to do again.

Kids also enjoyed summer trips to places like the Telus Spark Centre and Calloway Park, where they continue to mix education and fun.

Operational costs were in the range of $66,000 which they see rising due to inflation, the carbon tax and the minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.

The board will be coming together to find additional fundraising ideas that may interest the town more than things in the past.

Based on 2017 numbers prior to the new facilitators including Jennifer, they had a total of 41 youth.

“I expect that to rise quite a bit because the kids really seem to enjoy the programming that our facilitators are putting forward with the cooking and the amazing race,” said Hewlett.

Council requested they keep track of where everyone is from to identify any trends or to seek out future funding based on the numbers.

Certain programs are receiving more attention than others but on average there are between 10 and 15 children attending daily.

Extracurricular activities such as sports effect numbers greatly.

The presenters plan to break into the junior and high school scene by collaborating with the school which should attract more people through the door.

Bashaw Library a popular after-school spot

Jackie Northey and Cindy Hunter of the Bashaw Community Library gave council numbers of attendees to the local library.

The budget remains the same at $8,500 except for staff changes as they now have a summer student joining. Staff will now account for $35,000 compared to $32,000.

The library has turned into a popular spot after school as Hunter mentioned that it is not uncommon to have 60 people in the library at one time every day.

Northey explained how parents utilize the space as they know their children are in a safe space until they can be picked up.

“We are lucky to have a place like that so close to the school,” said Northey.

Over 2018, 1,329 people attended public programs at the library.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller asked staff to figure out where everyone is coming from to understand who they are serving as a form of statistics for later use.

“We are serving Town of Bashaw residents and the assumption is Camrose County residents but because of our proximity to the borders of other counties, we also serve Ponoka, Stettler and Lacombe County residents and from a recreation perspective we have about three hockey players that come to the Bashaw arena from Wetaskiwin too,” said Fuller.

Water Commission attempts increase

The Highway 12/21 Regional Water Commission has sent their amended 2019 budget to council for review.

The biggest feature of note was the $60,000 water reserve contribution as discussed in October.

If this amount were to go through, the final cost of water for Town of Bashaw residents would be $3 per cubic metre. They currently sit at $2.98.

“We either pay the piper now or when something breaks,” said Coun. Rosella Peterman.

More information is coming down the pipe in water discussions.

The commission initially thought that pipe and technology replacement would not be needed right away but now they are attempting to make up for the difference by increasing their reserves.

The town has been subsidizing water rates this year but revenue projections are $50,000 short for water income which is a significant portion of the 2019 budget.

Council and administration agreed to work on how much the town actually uses in consumable water and to become more efficient in that usage by installing metres.

Council recommended they ask the commission to drop the amount. A final decision will be voted on by directors at the next commission meeting on Dec. 7, 2018.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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