Bashaw council hears cold weather caused issues with ice removal

·3 min read

Bashaw town council heard a report that the frigid weather in mid-February caused some issues with ice removal in the arena.

The report was given at the Feb. 18 regular meeting of council held via Zoom to meet pandemic rules.

Mayor Penny Shantz was absent from the meeting, so it was chaired by Coun. Rosella Peterman.

During the regular report of Public Works Foreman Murray Holroyd, councillors heard that staff were not able to remove skating ice from the arena because of the cold weather.

“It is still too hard to remove,” stated Holroyd in his report.

However, he noted the decals and re-usable centre line were removed.

The foreman reported that in the week leading up to the council meeting, several water and sewer lines froze up in the very frigid weather.

Holroyd also reported water meter replacement work continues.

The town was able to sell the old sander truck for $5,500 along with the old cardboard baler, which sold for $800.

Holroyd also sits in on regular COVID pandemic updates from the provincial government and reported that masks are still mandatory in all public places in Alberta and that the provincial government is planning on easing some restrictions when the number of people in hospital with COVID drops down.

Holroyd’s report was accepted for information.

CAO report

The town’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller stated in her regular report that the town’s new computer server was approved for purchase in 2020, and the new item has been somewhat delayed.

“It has taken some time to receive the server and all the migration of data etc.,” stated Fuller.

“It is still in process, contacting the various external software providers to migrate data accurately.”

New staff

The CAO reported the town has a new employee.

“Natasha Larkin was hired for the municipal treasurer position,” said Fuller.

“She has started full-time with us in January 2021. Training has been progressing well.

“This time of year there are ‘one-time’ activities, being year-end close out on each financial module preparation for audit, etc.”

Internet service

Councillors received a letter from Telus requesting a letter of support from the Town of Bashaw for an improved tower.

“Telus is currently in the process of applying for funding through the Universal Broadband Fund to upgrade our tower site in the Town of Bashaw,” stated an email from Dan Johnson, real estate manager.

“Our tower in Bashaw currently has 90 customers who receive their home internet from the tower.

“This upgrade would allow us to offer additional speed to these customers.”

Coun. Rob McDonald thought it was a great idea.

“I think we should sign onto that,” said McDonald.

Pension question

Fuller presented to councillors the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) document and the town’s own policy, noting there was an issue with them.

She stated the LAPP identifies 30 hours of work per week for eligibility while the town policy states 35.

She recommended councillors alter the town policy to match the LAPP.

Coun. Lynn Schultz asked if this would cost the town money, and Fuller stated no.

Councillors approved a change to the pension policy to match the LAPP number.

Committee reports

During committee reports, it was noted the Boys & Girls Club is currently interviewing for a new facilitator.

It was also noted at the Bashaw Agricultural Society annual general meeting that grant money from the provincial government has been confirmed.

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review