Cardston Council passes budget and more January 12th

·3 min read

Cardston mayor and councillors gathered Tuesday, January 12th for the first official council meeting of the New Year. The meeting began with Sargeant Bob Wright as a delegation from the RCMP who made a report to council and then answered the councillors questions. Councillor Bengry said he had been receiving calls from concerned citizens stating that with the warmer weather there had been individuals without homes ringing doorbells in the night as late as 2 or 3 am looking for handouts. He asked what residents should do in a case like this and the sergeant said it’s best to call 911 if there is a stranger at your door at such strange times in the night.

Councillor Brown said she had been receiving calls about speeding on 7th street past the school and golf course. Council placed a sentry at the location to check speeds which information will be given to the RCMP to see if the citizen complaints are validated by facts. Councillor Barnes asked a question about how it works when the blood tribe has a curfew but blood tribe members are out roaming Cardston past curfew. RCMP clarified that the Blood Tribe’s curfew is a bylaw which is therefore only effective for its own area and cannot be enforced here.

RCMP Sergeant Wright ended the discussion by letting council know that there were no covid related charges laid over the holidays for mass gatherings nor were RCMP members even checking to see that residents followed any guidelines. RCMP hopes that education of COVID related restrictions will bring about voluntary compliance over time.

Last week at the Committee of the Whole (CCW) meeting council had received information from a citizen concerned about the possibility of a disc golf course being introduced in town that he felt could affect the natural trail system. The resident lives near the area where a disc golf course is being proposed to be built and wants the area kept as natural as possible. He also brought up concerns about the safety of pedestrians on paths if they were hit with a flying disc and possible parking troubles. A recommendation from CCW was voted on as a motion during the Council meeting Tuesday that, in response to this complaint, the information be brought to the parks and recreation committee for further discussion.

Councillor Brown presented an updated recreation fee schedule for the 2021 swimming season. Councillor Bengry asked a question about how it affects the many large families in the area who have more than 4 children (as the family pricing is based on a family with 2 adults and six children). Councillor Brown said that while this could be a concern for some, many large families don’t bring all their kids together to the pool at one time, and if they wanted to they could rent the pool out which is very inexpensive. The new rates were approved by a vote of council.

In discussion about letters received concerning a proposed dog park, Councillor Brown also asked that a local veterinarian be brought to council to add to the discussion and answer questions. At Councillor Brown’s suggestion Council also decided to ask someone from Remington Carriage to discuss their concerns on the matter at the same meeting.

Council looked over and passed first reading of draft bylaw 1696 regarding Animal control. This, like all bylaws, will need two more readings before coming into effect.

The most difficult discussion to be had around the council table Tuesday was about the budget. New information from Alberta Urban Municipalities Association projects that each municipality in the province will receive less funding than what had been previously projected by the provincial government. With this in mind council approved a 2% increase to the mill rate in order to support this year’s budget, which was approved at the meeting Tuesday night.

Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star