Town of Bashaw council passes 2023 tax rate bylaw increase

Written by Stu Salkeld

Bashaw town council unanimously approved its 2023 tax rate bylaw, meaning staff can print the annual tax notices and mail them out. The bylaw was passed at the May 3 regular meeting.

In a phone call to the ECA Review May 8, Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller stated that the 2023 Town of Bashaw Tax Rate Bylaw #822 was passed unanimously.

The CAO noted the tax rate bylaw was based on the resolution councillors previously passed regarding a 2.55 per cent general property tax increase that was discussed at a previous meeting.

She noted councillors were satisfied with that although there is still some uncertainty regarding the Government of Alberta building in Bashaw which apparently only pays part of the property tax bill sent to it.

Fuller also pointed out different land zones in Bashaw may have different mill rates and property value also plays a significant role in the final appearance of a tax bill.

Capital budget
Councillors also unanimously passed the town’s 2023 capital budget, which includes all of the major construction projects the municipality has planned for this summer.

Fuller noted the 2023 capital budget is completely grant-funded.

She noted in the past the Town of Bashaw has budgeted Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funds over to following years essentially to “save up” for a big project.

However, Fuller noted Bashaw has seen a significant drop in its MSI grant.

Some of the projects included in the capital budget include the water treatment plant, arena boards, paving, curling rink door, water meters and a couple of service lines.

Cemetery maintenance
Fuller noted the Town of Bashaw fielded a number of complaints last year about the appearance of the municipal cemetery, as some people felt it was not maintained regularly enough. To that end, she noted councillors approved tendering out the cemetery maintenance work, and she presented the results of that tender, pointing out that the results depended heavily on what Mother Nature does this summer.

The town received three offers which Fuller named contractors A, B and C. Contractor A quoted $3,200 per mow and predicted 32 cuts may be necessary for a total price of $102,400 followed by a quote for 20 cuts which totalled $64,000.

Contractor B quoted $950 per mow which added up to $30,400 for 32 cuts and $19,000 for 20 cuts. Contractor C simply offered to charge the town $20 per hour for the work with the town paying for all fuel.

Fuller stated the town didn’t want an hourly contractor but rather an all-inclusive bid for the work.

Councillors unanimously agreed to approve B’s offer, and Fuller stated the contractor was expected to begin work this week.

New baseball dugouts
Councillors unanimously approved a request from the Gord Bamford Foundation to expand a baseball diamond’s dugouts in Bashaw so the diamond meets junior baseball league requirements.

The request was discussed at a previous meeting and Mayor Rob McDonald stated he would discuss the request with other ball diamond users, specifically the ag society. McDonald reported he spoke to the Bashaw Ag Society and they had no concerns with the proposal.

Rental rate
Councillors unanimously accepted an energy company’s offer for rent on a well located on town property.

Councillors read a letter from Ember Resources dated April 13 which quoted the rental rate of $2,552 for a well located at Twp Rd 42 Rng Rd 21 W4 SW2. Ember stated the lease in question includes 2.86 acres.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.