Town of Bashaw wastewater station fee hikes approved

The Town of Bashaw increased user fees associated with the wastewater dump station as councillors discussed increased traffic at the station and cost recovery for the site. The decision was made at the March 16 regular meeting of council.

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller presented councillors with Bylaw 821-2023, the town’s wastewater disposal service regulation. The bylaw was debated at a previous council meeting and passed first reading.

Fuller previously explained the Town of Bashaw’s wastewater disposal station was seeing increased traffic possibly due to the County of Stettler closing some of their lagoons last year.

The town also charges users by cubic metre.

The bylaw proposed the following new rates to dispose of wastewater: effluent $1.50 per cubic metre, domestic waste $4.50 per cubic metre and commercial or industrial wastewater $4.10 per cubic metre.

At the previous council meeting Coun. Kyle McIntosh was concerned these proposed rates weren’t high enough to cover the town’s cost for the dump station.
Fuller reported she investigated the truckloads other communities deal with at similar stations and Bashaw’s is a fairly well-used facility.

Coun. Cindy Orom stated she also was concerned that the rates be robust enough to ensure cost recovery for the service.

Mayor Rob McDonald noted he felt the rates included in the proposed bylaw were suitable. Councillors unanimously passed all remaining readings to bring the bylaw into effect.

2023 budget draft
Councillors read a draft copy of the town’s 2023 operating budget.

“The town audit is still in the process of completion, the audited financial statements are presented to council in April,” stated the CAO in her report to council who also pointed out this draft was for discussion only, not approval.

Fuller stated once the audited financial statements are ready the draft 2023 operating budget could be updated based on that information.

The draft, at this stage, proposed a 2.22 per cent property tax increase.

Coun. Bryan Gust stated he was pleased to see such a low tax increase.

It was pointed out Bashaw benefits from the ATCO franchise fee dropping two per cent and an increase in property rental revenue but will spend money for the town office furnace and computer replacement.

The proposed budget includes $18,000 for town beautification.

Mayor McDonald noted he was happy with the draft budget.

“I think this is a very good budget,” said the mayor. “Well done, Theresa.”

Hazardous waste
At their previous meeting Bashaw town council discussed holding a hazardous waste round-up, but in order to reduce costs asked their CAO to investigate possible partnerships with other municipalities.

She reported that one prospective partner, Camrose County, will discuss this issue at their March 28 regular council meeting.

More money
The Town of Bashaw will benefit from more provincial government grant money, heard councillors.

Fuller reported that the provincial government’s recently announced 2023 budget boosted Bashaw’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) operating grant from $59,095 to $118,190.

The CAO noted MSI operating grants are included in the town’s 2023 budget as revenue and asked MSI money be spent in the following areas: general administration, municipal buildings and facilities, libraries, public security and safety and public transit.

Councillors unanimously approved the recommendation.

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.