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Castor council updated on new park

Highlights from June 13 meeting

A requested update on a new park in Castor was brought to council during their June 13 meeting.

Chief administrative officer Christopher Robblee updated council on the park plan, which was completed in 2021 and which had been previously presented to council.

According to Robblee, the plan was presented to the previous council, who provided general direction to make the plan a priority.

Administration then began the task of finding funding for the project, and succeeding; locating a $150,000 grant to put in trails in the area of the new park. The funding will also allow for repaving of existing trails.

“You had to give up $30,000 to qualify for the $150,000,” said Robblee.

“If you change the scope (of the project), you lose the $150,000.”

The work being done is all based on a proposed dog park created by a university student for the town which was presented to council shortly after the 2021 election.

“You can change the plan,” said Robblee.

“If you want the plan changed, you need to be clear about it.”

According to Tara Jenkins, the town’s recreation manager, who was also at the meeting, the paths for the new park have been awarded to a contractor and will be going in during the first part of August.

The matter was brought back to council as some on council didn’t feel that administration was being clear in what they were doing in relation to the project. Robblee noted that the project is primarily being funded through grants as they are accessed based on the previously approved plan and that once the plan is approved it is up to administration to work out the details.

Despite that, while allowing the trails in the new park site to go in council has directed administration to bring back the full park plan for review in a subsequent meeting.

Arena contract

The contract for the Castor Beaverdome concession has come up for renewal.

Previously, the contract for concession had the operator paying $350 a month for rent, plus an extra $100 if they used the facility to make items not normally sold at the concession.

With the contract coming up for renewal, Castor Recreation Board discussed the matter and suggested that the next contract be increased to $500 a month for a three year term.

Robblee suggested that the increase could be enough to keep potential operators for bidding on the contract and that they could lose the one who has provided the service for the last three years.

His concerns were met with agreement by councillors.

“If you have a good person, you do what you can to keep them,” said Coun. Cecil Yates.

Coun. Shawn Peach noted that he knows of a potential vendor, if the contract were to be reduced to a one year term.

Ultimately, council decided to leave the rate set at $350 a month for a three year term.

Arena plant room

Administration has been working behind the scenes to answer questions council had relating to the proposed arena plant room upgrade.

Unfortunately, according to Robblee, administration has reached the limit of knowledge that administration can access regarding specifications for what the new plant room needs to be mounted on, such as piles, screw piles, or concrete pad.

“I think we’re at the point we need to engage an engineer,” said Robblee.

Robblee’s recommendation was to hire I.S.L. Engineering, a municipal engineering firm he was familiar with.

Coun. Kevin McDougall put forward a motion to secure the services of an engineer so that the engineering plant room can proceed to next steps.

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