Current Town of Castor council met for final time Oct. 12

The Town of Castor’s water system losses continue to remain high

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

The current Town of Castor council met for the final time on Oct. 12, in their last meeting before the Oct. 18 general municipal elections.

With this meeting done, three of the councillors are entering retirement after a combined 30 years of community service between them.

Deputy Mayor Tony Nichols is retiring after serving two four-year terms on council, as is Coun. Lonny Nelner.

Coun. Rod Zinger is retiring as well, after serving two three-year and two four-year terms as councillor.

“It has been an excellent council,” said Mayor Richard Elhard.

Before the meeting was called to order, a presentation of gifts was made to the three individuals honouring their time to the Town, as well as a bouquet of flowers for their wives.

The remaining councillors, Mayor Richard Elhard, Coun. Trudy Kilner, Coun. Brenda Wismer, and Coun. Kevin McDougall are all running for re-election in the upcoming vote.

Gas and water

The good news and bad news with the Town-owned services continue.

First the good news. The municipality-owned gas system has shown a modest profit growth into the end of August, increasing 0.04 per cent, leaving the municipality running a 5.26 per cent profit on the gas system.

“I have checked with legal, and there is no problem with us making money on our gas system,” said Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee.

Onto the bad news, the Town of Castor’s water system losses continue to remain high.

As of the end of August the loss for the system sits around 26.54 per cent, which is down from previously, but still high. Factoring into these losses is another “long, drawn-out” water leak near the water plant. Town crews have got the area of the leak isolated but have still not located it yet.

“How close are we?” asked Mayor Elhard.

“Maybe the length (of council chambers),” said Robblee.

“We are getting close.”

48 St. sinkhole

According to Robblee the cause of the road sinkage on 48 St. was indirectly caused by previous administration error.

When the new home was constructed adjacent to the road, the administration of the time gave permission for the contractor to dig up the road to re-lay water and sewer pipes, and then re-pave it.

According to Robblee, when the contractor dug up the road to replace the pipes, when the gravel was replaced, it was not properly compacted to re-form a road base nor was the requisite time between the gravel being laid and the asphalt followed.

In short, part of the problem was that the asphalt, which usually needs to wait at least a year, was laid too soon after the gravel was replaced, which, according to Robblee, directly contributed to the road sinkage.

Also according to Robblee, after the previous administration gave permission for the work to be done, there was no follow-up done to ensure the work was being done properly.

“They shouldn’t have let a contractor dig up the road,” said Robblee.

“All we can do is deal with the problem now. I don’t believe it will be cheap to fix.”

Due to the size of the area affected, it is too large for the Town Public Works employees to tackle themselves.

“It’s too big of an area for us as administration to do,” said Robblee.

Robblee proposed repairing the section of road in stages, tearing the bad section out and getting gravel laid this fall before winter sets in to smooth the road, then compacting the base in 2022, followed by repaving the section in 2023.

“Personally, I think it has to be fixed,” said Nelner.

“If we need a contractor, the sooner the better, I think.”

Coun. Zinger motioned for administration to contact a contractor and have the sinking roadway on 48 St. removed and filled with gravel before winter, which was carried unanimously.