By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Bashaw Star
The current Town of Bashaw council met for the final time on Oct. 7, 2021.
Mayor Penny Shantz, Deputy Mayor Rosella Peterman, and Coun. Darren Pearson, are all stepping away from public service and are not running again in the upcoming Oct. 18 municipal election.
“It’s been a pleasure working with you,” said Chief Administrative Officer Theresa Fuller.
“It’s sad to see most of you leave. I thank you for all your contributions.”
The only councillor confirmed to be returning is Rob McDonald, who has already been acclaimed as Bashaw’s new mayor, succeeding Shantz.
“Thank you, Penny,” said McDonald.
“As I step into your role, I feel fortunate that I have had two very good mayors-slash-mentors to learn under. I hope I can do as good of a job as you two have done.”
During the meeting, three bylaws were passed, cleaning up several outstanding matters stemming from the Municipal Accountability Program Review undertaken earlier in the year by Municipal Affairs.
“The Assessor Bylaw required some change,” said Fuller.
“This is what was required for us to pass. The previous bylaw is repealed within this bylaw.”
The Subdivision Authority Bylaw and the Regional Assessment Review Board Bylaw were also repealed and replaced during the meeting, in order to to become compliant.
Planning Service Agreement
The Town of Bashaw has entered into a Planning Service Agreement with Camrose County.
Under the agreement, Camrose County will maintain mapping of the community, aerial photography, historical photography and provide subdivision services to the town.
Costs to the town will be $700 plus $3.25 per capita in 2022, and $700 plus $3.50 per capita in 2023 and 2024.
Tax penalty exemption request
A new business to the community which missed the July 31 tax deadline is requesting to have the tax penalty applied to their account waived.
“Normally, we wouldn’t skip the penalty because it is a bad precedent, but they are brand new owners,” said Peterman.
“Who knows what they got wrapped up with?”
According to Fuller, the individual requesting the waiver did come in prior to the deadline to pay their taxes, however had forgotten their cheque book, and did not make it back again before the deadline passed. They have since paid their taxes in full, minus the $782 penalty.
“I agree,” said McDonald.
“It was an oversight. I’d be okay with (waiving the penalty).”
In a motion put forward by Peterman, the penalty was reversed.
The Fortis electrical franchise fee was brought to council for review.
The fee is eligible to be adjusted on an annual basis and is capped at 20 per cent as a rider on electrical utilities within the community.
In 2020, council opted to reduce the franchise fee to 2 per cent to help alleviate costs on ratepayers in the community. At 2 per cent, income forecasts for the community are around $18,000.
“All utilities are going up by so much,” said Peterman.
“I don’t think we want to add an additional burden to our residents.”
In a motion put forward by Peterman, council voted in favour of keeping the franchise fee at 2 per cent.
Bashaw’s town council has approved the 2022 Parkland Regional Library Systems 2022 budget.
The per capita rate for the community is remaining at $8.55, the same as 2021 levels.
There will be a slight budget impact to the town, however, as Parkland is using updated census information which shows a slight growth in the community.
Previously, the community registered 830 residents. The numbers Parkland are using now show that Bashaw has 830 official residents.
This means the change to the budget will be minimal, going from $7,096.50 to $7,164.90.