This map indicates the proposed land use designations approved in the first reading of the updated bylaw by Bashaw town council at its meeting Sept. 6. Image: Town of Bashaw

Bashaw council approves tennis court spending, will alllow media to record meetings

Hope is court treatment can be done before winter, revised bylaws pass first reading

A busy agenda saw Bashaw town council approve a few significant motions last week.

At its Sept. 6 meeting, it was decided to move ahead with a pair of land use and planning bylaws as well as spending on improvements to the tennis court plus give accredited media permission to electronically record council meetings.

Following a formal request from the Bashaw Star to consider the idea council approved a motion that media attending the public meetings be allowed to use electronic recording devices in order to provide an accurate account of what was stated during any discussion.

Now while the final vote on the issue was unanimous — minus Coun. Rob McDonald who was unable to attend the meeting — Coun. Lynn Schultz did express an initial bit of apprehension.

“We have open meetings here that any member of the pubic can attend. Sometimes I wonder, not so much in a small place like Bashaw, about abuses with these recordings,” he stated.

“But, if it’s just limited to the media only and for their use, then I think that should be okay.”

CAO Theresa Fuller noted there hasn’t been a big issue in the past with the accuracy of previous media reports about council meeting discussions. She added the only difference is control, whether the media do it themselves or the town does it then provides the media with the recordings.

“Administration has no issue with the meetings being recorded, as council is already rather transparent, and there is no reference in any legislation that states one way or the other,” Fuller explained.

“As council, you could decide to let the media only record and decide later on any further steps from there.”

Bylaws hearing set

A public hearing will be held Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. in the council chamber following the passage of first reading on the revised Land Use Bylaw (LUB) and revisions to the town’s Municipal Development Plan (MDP).

Council looked over drafts of each document that are being updated to align each plan with the requirements in the new Municipal Government Act (MGA). There were some slight adjustments made — to allow council some flexibility in planning and incorporate a pair of new agreements the MGA has made mandatory for every municipality.

The public will also have a chance to find out more about these new agreements — Intermunicipal Development Plan and Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework — at an open house on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bashaw Community Centre.

Court resurfacing

About $30,000 has been approved by council to pay for a surface treatment and other items for the repaved tennis court.

The surface — a rubberized product good for both tennis and pickleball — will have lines for two full sized tennis courts along with four pickleball courts on one side and two on the other side. In addition, the price includes two tennis nets and movable pickleball nets.

While the motion passed, administration was asked to find out when the surface could be installed. Fuller added the project was initially slated to be paid for through a grant, but that a decision on that isn’t expected until late this year. Should the grant not come through or the project is done this fall, the money could come from reserves or out of the 2019 MSI funding application.

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