Bashaw’s town council received an update that the water leak plaguing the community was being repaired during its meeting on Feb. 5.
The water leak was noticed on Jan. 21 when town staff noticed higher usage coming out of the Bashaw Reservoir.
Following several false starts, the leak was eventually found on Feb. 3; however, due to the leak causing a collapse of the adjacent sewer lines the planning for the repair was made more complex than a typical break.
The repair began on Feb. 5 and was announced concluded in a Town of Bashaw Facebook post by Feb. 7.
“It’s been a learning process, but we’re better for it,” said town foreman Patrick Taylor.
On Feb. 8, the Town of Bashaw received word that the boil water advisory, which had been in place since Jan. 29, had been lifted.
Taylor noted that he and his crew have been going through the valves in the reservoir to see if it’s possible to isolate individual parts of town, but the process has been “frustrating” as some of the valves have sediment built up and aren’t seating properly when closed.
Tayloe also noted that a lot of the infrastructure in the community is “pretty fragile” and when the cold snap hit, with not much of an insulating snow layer on top, the frost was driven into the ground which caused the break.
According to chief administrative officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller, one “silver lining” of the incident was the town’s “improved capacity” to get messaging out through the Voyent Alert app.
Included in the consent agenda items for the evening’s council meeting was a summary of staff projects and council meetings for 2024.
Coun. Kyle McIntosh, reviewing the document, suggested that some of the items on the list have timelines added to them.
“To me, this is the bare bones of a strategic plan,” said McIntosh.
Fuller replied that within the CAO bylaw and the Municipal Government Act, she has the tools she needs and she is working through the items on the list as her time permits.
“Timelines could be prohibitive,” said Fuller.
McIntosh disagreed, noting that when he looked at the list, council should be able to “look at what the priorities are” and help “triage” them.
“I don’t think it’s exclusively in the domain of the CAO to make that decision,” said McIntosh.
Mayor Rob McDonald noted that the document was presented by the CAO as information, and not council’s job to tell her how to do it.
“It is her responsibility to get what we give her to do done,” said McDonald.
Fuller noted that the reason for the summary being presented was in response to a pair of “Notices of Motion” submitted by McIntosh for the meeting.
“We felt it important that council be made aware of what we are doing,” said Fuller.
Coun. Jackie Northey was grateful for the summary.
“I appreciate the awareness because I think it’s important that council have an awareness of the workload the staff is under,” Said Northey
McDonald reported to council that he had been invited to join the Mid-sized Town’s Mayor’s Caucus.
The cost to join the caucus is $250 for the year.
“We don’t know if there’s value or not,” said Northey.
“There may be some value.”
McDonald agreed, noting that “for $250 a year, we can definitely try it.”
The motion to join the caucus passed in a motion put forward by Northey.
McDonald also sits on the Central Alberta Mayors and Reeves Caucus.
In a housekeeping matter, Terri Brown-Gust has been appointed to the Bashaw Library Board effective Feb. 5, 2024.
While Brown-Gust has served on the board for several months, the appointment has never been made official through a motion of council.