Thrift store desperate for help

Bashaw Council

The Bashaw Thrift Store may close if it doesn’t get help soon.

Jolene Wilkie and Margaret Baier from the Bashaw and District Thrift Store Society told Bashaw council, at its regular meeting Feb. 11, asked the town to purchase and hold an $85,000 mortgage on the old Anglican Church because it has to leave their current location.

“We are sort of desperate and wonder if the town would help us out,” said Baier. “We are out on our own. We are our own entity and we will have to close if we don’t get any help.

“We don’t have any money to purchase (a building) and unless we get some funding we are hooped.”

The group would apply for a $10,000 non-matching CIP grant and needs $75,000 in additional funding. They asked the town for a letter of support in the amount of $32,500 for a CIP matching grant.

The society’s lease on the building where its currently located won’t be renewed when it is up at the end of March, council heard.  They are a non-profit group run by six volunteers and help with programs in the community such as Coats for Kids and emergency social aid.

The group did apply for a provincial casino grant, similar to one that nearby Alix thrift store received, but were turned down.

Jolene Wilkie, secretary and treasurer of the society, told council the group has made substantial strides in increasing its bottom line.

“If we found a better location we could bring in more cash and money and it goes back to the community.”

Council discussed the issue in-camera. During the open portion of the meeting council voted in favour of administration drafting a letter in response to the society saying they can’t take out a mortgage on their behalf.

“We can’t because of the way we are obligated to borrow money in the municipal process,” said Chief Administrative Officer Theresa Fuller.

 Physician retention program
Council, at its Feb. 11 regular meeting, unanimously voted in favour of tabling a decision on the program until the next meeting.

Chief Administrative Officer Theresa Fuller said this gives council time to chat with the physician to get more information and find out what the ramifications of any changes would be instead of council implementing a change and then regretting it later.

Fuller said the $25,000 for the physician retention was paid through provincial MSI funding. She added that with the demise of the MSI funding it’s uncertain how the town will come up with the funds.

In addition, she said it’s a waiting game with the new NDP government and that with the previous Tory government gave timelines on their financial promises but the new government doesn’t so it’s a waiting game.

“We are kind of in speculation,” said Fuller. “It makes it difficult for planning beyond a year or two.”

Icy sidewalks a hazard
Coun. Lynn Schultz raised the issue of sidewalks not shoveled and wants them dealt with.

“People are getting very lax,” he said.

Coun. Schultz said the icy sidewalks make it difficult for seniors to get around and it’s often safer for them to walk on the road rather than the sidewalk.

“We need to get a little tougher.”

He suggested helping match up youth looking for sidewalk shoveling jobs with those people who aren’t able to or don’t shovel their sidewalks.

Coun. Schultz said it’s too late to start something this winter but added it could be set up for next winter.

Chief Administrative Officer Theresa Fuller said the town could have bylaw hand out tickets to violators and added they can see if there are any community groups, such as hockey teams, looking shovel sidewalks. She said administration would work on creating a list of those willing to shovel sidewalks and possibly post it on the town’s web site.

Coun. Bryan Gust pointed out that if the town plans to issue tickets and enforce sidewalk clean up then the town needs to be prepared to clean their immediately as well.

“I often walk on the roads too,” he said. “They are safer than the sidewalks thanks to the town. There are certain stretches of sidewalk that (people) don’t (shove) all winter.”

Coun. Schultz said he doesn’t want to get too harsh but wants to see more attention paid to sidewalks being cleaned.

“People are just getting laxer and laxer.”

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