Water will once again be a hot topic in Bashaw and will likely be for years to come.
At its Nov. 21 meeting, council reluctantly passed the 2020 budget for the Highway 12/21 Regional Water Commission that included a jump in the rate Bashaw will pay for water.
One of now just six commission members that approve the budget (Ferintosh has dissolved and will have its share blended into Camrose County’s) Bashaw and other members must absorb the commission’s operational costs as well as a $60,000 addition to reserves to pay for capital replacement of equipment.
Those increases have resulted in a rate jump of nine cents, to $3.05 per cubic metre.
Coun. Lynn Schultz expressed his displeasure with having to accept the hike.
“We are not changing (their budget) anyway, no matter what we do,” he said.
As for what this may mean for the town’s rate, which sits at $3.16, CAO Theresa Fuller stated administration is continuing to run the numbers and will bring forward some recommendations to council soon.
The Bashaw Public Library put forward its annual request for funding at the meeting, asking for $8,750 — an increase of $250 from previous years.
Librarian Cindy Hunter explained to council that rise in funding is necessary to continue providing all of the services it has while dealing with a rise in its rent and insurance. The library has also done two things to help cut expenses — moving from a land line to cellular phone service and closing from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.
However, as library board member Bryan Gust stated, “We have brainstormed on how to save money and, other than hours, there is not much more to cut. We are also soliciting from other groups in the community in a way to raise some other funds.”
Council accepted the request as information and will look at it during their budget discussions.
Council approved the street closure request for the Bashaw Chamber of Commerce for its annual Christmas celebration parade Dec. 7. It will run down 50 (Main) Street beginning at 11 a.m. The day will also include a pancake breakfast and a host of activities for the children.