(File photo)

(File photo)

Castor council grants tax waiver

And other highlights of the Dec. 12 meeting

In a rare move, Castor’s town council has approved the waiver of tax penalties on a property in town. The decision was made during the Dec. 12 council meeting.

Castor’s council has routinely set a precedent of not waiving penalties; however, according to chief administrative officer (CAO) Christopher Robblee, the circumstances surrounding this waiver are “unique.”

The request for council decision (RCD) states that Vision Credit Union has recently received an offer of purchase on the property in question for $10,000.

Currently there is around $8,300 owed on the property in back-taxes, utilities and penalties.

Penalties alone account for $1,200 of the total bill.

According to Robblee, the property is valued at $36,000, though the town could realistically sell the property for $10-15,000 itself, if it so chose to.

Vision Credit Union submitted the request to the town to help make the sale work for all parties.

Robblee noted that as it was the financial institution asking, and not an individual, council could “probably” agree to the waiver “without setting precedent.”

Coun. Kevin McDougall motioned to waive the penalties on the property so that the sale may proceed.

Arena Plant Room

Council has decided on the placement of the new ice-plant room for the Beaverdome.

Part of the existing plant room on the south side of the building will be demolished and the new plant room will be placed adjacent to the south end of the building, keeping it well away from gas and fiber-optic lines running through the alley.

With the decision made as to the placement of the new plant room, engineers will begin doing the drawings needed so that materials can be ordered.

As long as everything goes according to plan, the new plant room will be placed during the summer of 2023 for a Sept. 1, 2023 startup.

Library

Council received Castor Municipal Library manager Tess Griebel as a delegation during the Dec. 12 meeting.

Griebel highlighted the successes of 2022, and what the town’s ongoing support means for the library.

According to Griebel, the Castor Municipal Library welcomed 3,710 visitors through its doors during the year and library membership had increased by 30 per cent since the removal of associated fees.

In addition, 144 members borrowed 8,227 books, DVDs, and audio-books either through the library or through the inter-library loan service.

Also introduced in 2022 was a variety of kids and adult programming. Griebel informed council that over 100 children took part in 10 in-person programs, 35 kids registered for the summer reading program, which was offered three times a week, and two adult programs with 12 participants ran besides.

“I hear good things about the library,” said Coun. Don Sisson.

“I think you’re doing a great job.”

When asked if there was any discussion on extending the library hours, Griebel replied that the conversation with the board has started, but things are a “balancing act” as far as budgets go.

Chief Administrative Officer

CAO Robblee has announced his resignation from the Town of Castor effective Dec. 22.

Following a confidential discussion at the end of the Dec. 12 meeting, council is appointing assistant CAO Donna Rowland to act as interim-CAO until a replacement is found.

Council has also decided to advertise externally for the position of CAO, with the position being posted until the end of January 2023.

Although the position is being posted externally, it does not preclude Rowland eventually being appointed to that role permanently by council, depending on other applications that come in.

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