Castor council stands firm on fine issued to homeowner

Council briefs

By Kevin J Sabo For the Advance

Castor council has voted to not reconsider a $500 fine issued to a town homeowner.

The fine was issued under Bylaw-1037, the town utility bylaw, and was issued for having an appliance, in this case, a water filter, on the town side of the water meter, in contravention to the bylaw. The bylaw says that all appliances must be connected after the water metre. The appliance was found after it cracked, causing flooding in the basement of both sides of the duplex.

When town staff entered the unoccupied half of the duplex to assess where the leak was coming from, which was reported by the occupant of the other half, the appliance was found to be at fault, and being in violation of the bylaw, a fine for $500 was issued.

The owner of the affected property appealed the fine in writing. In the document he alleges that he had attempted to get the water shut off to remove the appliance two years ago, however, due to a malfunctioning shutoff at the water main, was unable to do so. After checking town records and conferring with staff, CAO Sandi Jackson was unable to find any records of the request and reported as such to council during the Jan. 28 meeting.

“If we don’t go through with this fine, we can’t go through with any fine after this,” said Coun. Trudy Kilner.

An estimated 100 cubic metres of water is estimated to have leaked when the appliance cracked, an amount of water, which would have cost about $1,500 if the homeowner had been charged with it in addition to the fine.

The homeowner has worked away from Castor and has not resided in the home for around the last two years.

READ MORE: Castor Town Council briefs

Other highlights of the Jan. 28 council meeting:

• Alberta Party riding nominee Mark Nikota attended the meeting to introduce himself and talk about the platform of the Alberta Party.

• 2018 totals are in, and Castor showed a 20 per cent water loss for the year, down from the year before. Gas loss for the year showed a 1.47 per cent loss for the year, which is within typical limits.

• Council has approved a wellness policy for the town focusing on physical, Intellectual, and economic wellness, community inclusion, and creating a healthy built environment.

• Council has renewed the memorandum of agreement with Alberta Transport and Vehicle Information Services (TRAVIS), an Alberta Transportation service that looks after permitting of any over-size loads that may come through the community.

• Town staff will be taking training later in Feb. to use the new remote metre reading equipment which is currently being set up.

• CAO Jackson said to council that the office has received some complaints about the snow map that was posted to town social media, however to the best of her knowledge all the sidewalks that were highlighted have been cleared. She also reminded council that any private sidewalks that are cleared by town employees do get billed back to the property owner.

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