Town of Bashaw council heard that volunteers may host public skating on Long Valley Lake this winter.
The report was made at their Nov. 12 council meeting.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller told councillors at the most recent Beautification Committee meeting it was mentioned that the CAO should run an idea past council at their next meeting: hosting public outdoor skating on a portion of nearby Long Valley Lake.
The suggestion included the town Public Works staff pitching in the remove snow and the fire department flooding the skating area.
Fuller noted she already knew that the fire department was a bit concerned about this idea, as emptying the water truck for a skating rink could create a liability issue if an emergency call comes in while firefighters were re-filling the tanker.
Mayor Penny Shantz stated she was a bit concerned about the cattails in the water, as they can weaken the quality of the ice and create a hazard.
Coun. Lynn Schultz also warned that using a skid steer to clear snow could create waves and also weaken the ice.
Coun. Rosella Peterman stated she didn’t have a problem with the idea, but felt the town staff probably don’t have time for this idea. Coun. Rob McDonald agreed, stating he liked the idea but felt it should be volunteer-driven.
Councillors also agreed that since the lake is considered crown land, volunteers probably don’t need town permission for this rink.
Hwy. #12-21 water budget
Councillors examined the 2021 proposed budget from the Hwy. #12-21 Regional Water Services Commission, which was described in the budget memo as including a zero per cent increase.
As councillors examined the proposed budget, they noted the commission’s accumulated reserves, at over $300,000.
According to the discussion it seems the commission has a goal of building its reserves even larger.
Councillors decided they would approve the 2021 proposed budget, but voiced concern about the reserves and wanted Fuller to request more information about this topic from the commission itself.
Coun. Peterman, who, along with Mayor Shantz, represents Bashaw on the commission, stated the problem with the Village of Edberg continues.
Apparently, Edberg isn’t interested in becoming a member of this commission.
“The commission is still working on it,” said Peterman.
Public Works reporterForeman Murray Holroyd gave his regular report to council, noting the arena lighting project is completed except for one missing light.
He said it will be installed when it shows up.
Holroyd noted the Bashaw Curling Club started up their ice on Nov. 7.
Public Works was busy plowing snow and sanding streets and Holroyd estimated the town should have enough sand cleaned for the rest of winter.
Giving an update on emergency management, Holroyd stated it may become necessary to implement a mandatory face mask bylaw if COVID-19 cases continue to climb.
So long Zamboni
During her regular report to council Fuller noted the old Zamboni, which the town has been trying to sell for a few months, finally found a new home.
The old Zamboni was sold for $2,600 and the new owners picked it up Nov. 12.
Fuller presented councillors with a report noting the Town of Bashaw should have a public library board bylaw on the books.
She noted she used the City of Camrose bylaw as a template.
Also, the CAO noted she was asking councillors to make an addition to the revised CAO bylaw. Apparently, the CAO bylaw didn’t specify the CAO as having the development officer authority.
Councillors unanimously approved all readings to pass both bylaws.
Fuller gave an update on the search for a volunteer to fill a vacancy on the Regional Assessment Review Board (RARB).
She noted the person who was suggested as an option had actually turned the offer down.
The CAO stated she could advertise the vacancy if council wished.
Councillors discussed the vacancy, and suggested a few more Bashaw citizens who might consider serving the community on the RARB.
Fuller stated she would approach those folks and report back on the results.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter