County of Paintearth

County of Paintearth meeting highlights for Aug. 17

Council has approved the tendering of a project to patch some bad sections of Lake Thelma Road

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

In an effort to streamline documentation, the County of Paintearth is removing references to costs from some of its policies.

Two policies receiving this treatment at the latest County of Paintearth council meeting on Aug. 17 are Policy PW 004, the Construction of Approaches by non-County forces policy, and Policy PW 019, the Pipeline, Well Equipment & Utilities policy.

The fees mentioned in the policies were the application fees to cross or attach to existing County road allowances. Because the fees are changed periodically, which has up until this point necessitated council changing the policies and the schedule of fees, council has decided to change the wording of the documents reflecting that those costs can be found in the Schedule of Fees.

With this change, when it comes to fee changes, council will only be required to change one document instead of many.

Castor After School Program

Gus Wetter teacher Ellyn Schaffner has submitted a request to the County for $5000, enabling the school-run after school program to continue.

“We know that the after-school program is a casualty of site-based budget cuts at Gus Wetter,” said County of Paintearth Chief Administrative Officer Michael Simpson.

“There’s a value for parents that work in Stettler (for this program). There is room for conversation. We can find you money, in short.”

The request echoes a request that Schaffner presented to the Town of Castor at a previous council meeting. Due to information surrounding the request being deemed incomplete by council, the decision on funding the program was tabled until a later meeting.

With September, and the school year, approaching, the funding for the program needs to be put in place sooner rather than later if the program is going to run.

“The school board gave Gus Wetter a budget, and they decided they couldn’t fund (the program) and deliver the curriculum at the same time,” said Simpson.

After some further discussion, in a motion made by Coun. George Glazier, council agreed to fund the program with $5000 for one year, contingent on the Town also funding an equal $5000.

Additionally, council requested that meetings be set up some time during the year with Gus Wetter and Coronation schools to discuss the long-term viability of the program.

“I see this as being valuable,” said Deputy Reeve Doreen Blumhagen, a sentiment agreed to by Coun. Maurice Wiart.

“I think it’s a positive thing to have this care in the community,” said Wiart.

“It makes (the community) a better place to live.”

Sports funding

Per County policy for individual and team funding, County council has approved $500 each towards three Coronation softball and baseball teams, and a Castor baseball and softball team, to help with provincial tournament expenses.

The U18AA Castor Raiders will be hosting the Provincial Baseball Finals tournament over the weekend of Aug. 27 to 29.

Road repairs

Council has approved the tendering of a project to patch some bad sections of Lake Thelma Road, at an estimated cost of $100,000.

“The road has been breaking us up and causing us grief,” said Public Works Director Bryce Cooke.

“In June and July, a couple of spots broke up, with chunks breaking right out of the pavement. We’re going to dig these soft spots out in the next week or two. We’d like to bring in a patching crew (after).”

The project would be funded from the 2021 Capital budget. Informal conversations Cooke has had with some paving companies regarding the project indicate that the costs could come in as low as $85,000, though he is opting to budget the full $100,000 just in case.

Coun. Wiart motioned to proceed with the tendering of the project, and to, “Go ahead contingent on reasonable tenders.” Wiart later clarified that reasonable in this case is under $100,000.