By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
The Town of Castor administration and council have received the results of their Municipal Accountability Review which was conducted by representatives of Alberta Municipal Affairs on Feb. 11th.
The report document, which was released to the town in May, identified 20 areas where the Town of Castor was meeting mandatory Legislative requirements.
Some of the requirements that were noted in the report were for orientation and training, the repair of roads, public places, and Public Works budgeting.
“Overall the findings are very positive,” was one note in the document summary.
The Town, however, did not meet all Legislative requirements.
Fifteen areas were addressed in the report that need to be corrected.
The items requiring correction were varied, covering everything from the Town office address needing to be updated, to the tax bylaw needing work, to council members not visibly voting during meetings.
The Town of Castor has eight weeks from the time of receipt of the report, which was made available to the public at the May 27th meeting of council, to respond to Municipal Affairs about the report, and eight months to make the required changes.
The changes required are mainly administrative in nature, such as the Town being required to produce a tax bylaw setting one minimum tax rate, not two.
Previously the Town had set a tax rate of $500 for most properties, however around a dozen properties fit under the second minimum tax bracket of $250.
Under current Legislation, Municipal Affairs only allows one tax rate.
Council and administration have already begun working to become compliant. Councillors have begun voting on all motions in a visible way, and discussions have been started between council and administration to bring the Town completely into compliance.
As part of its Municipal Accountability Program, Alberta Municipal Affairs conducts reviews of communities with 5,000 or fewer people at least once every four years, and Castor was randomly selected to undergo the review process for 2019.