Bashaw town council approved a bylaw that pushes tax penalties to the end of August, three months later than usual.
The approval was done at the May 7 regular meeting of council which was conducted electronically through the Zoom software.
Town CAO Theresa Fuller presented councillors with a report on Bylaw 796, also called the tax penalty bylaw, which includes the standard penalties for late payment of property taxes and also included the incentives for early payment.
Fuller noted this bylaw would apply only for the 2020 year and eliminated the incentive part.
The tax deadline for 2020 was bumped to Aug. 31 which was in alignment with guidelines from the provincial government’s COVID-19 measures.
The penalty amounts remained the same, meaning any property taxes not paid on Sept. 1 receive a 12 per cent penalty applied to them.
Councillor Rob McDonald asked if eliminating the incentive was permanent, as it was useful to get tax revenue flowing into the town office early.
Fuller stated that the draft bylaw did permanently eliminate the incentive. She stated not very many taxpayers took advantage of the incentive, stating only about $4,000 in taxes came in early.
Councillors unanimously approved all readings of the bylaw.
2020 tax bylaw
Councillors also passed Bylaw 797, the 2020 Property Tax bylaw, based on the approved budget.
CAO Fuller stated the education requisition, which municipalities collect on behalf of the provincial government, remained at the same level as 2019.
The municipal total of taxation was $777,049.33. Councillors approved all readings necessary to approve the bylaw.
Bashaw golf course
Councillors perused the Bashaw Golf and Country Club financial statements ending Oct. 31, 2019.
They were prepared by auditor Rowland, Parker and Associates, and a letter from the firm stated the auditor felt the statements accurately reflected the financial position of the golf club for the time period in question.
CAO Fuller stated that it was concerning that the club showed a bit of a loss, but it was not a huge amount.
She also stated that the golf course would probably see a lot of business once coronavirus measures are lifted.
Councillors accepted the financial statements for information.
Foreman Murray Holroyd reported that the provincial government is planning to slowly re-open certain areas of the community as the coronavirus pandemic appears to be peaking. Holroyd stated the town will follow AHS’ lead on these re-openings.
He also stated that social distancing measures will remain in place for the foreseeable future, likely until a vaccine is available.
Holroyd made his regular report about streets and infrastructure in town, and stated the spring thaw was having a noticeable effect on Bashaw.
He stated a soft spot on 51st Street by 47th Avenue required excavation, and will further need re-paving to the tune of about $15,000.
Holroyd also reported a problem with water intermittently welling up on 54th Avenue, but he feels it’s not a leaking water line, because the leak would be constant, which it’s not.
Holroyd stated the nearby septic tank appears to be fine.
He also stated the ball diamonds are in good shape and ready to go, but the town won’t open them until given the go-ahead by AHS because of social distancing rules.
CAO Fuller noted that the spring thaw was particularly intense this year and added that there may be some areas around town that will have to sit and dry out before the town can do anything with them.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter