New Paintearth County CAO looks forward to working with Castor council

Works with council on several projects

By Kevin J. Sabo For the Advance

The regular Town of Castor Council meeting was held the evening of Sept. 24 and started with a short question and answer session with the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Paintearth County, Michael Simpson.

Michael Simpson recently joined the County of Paintearth in August to replace former CAO Tarolyn Aaserud after she departed earlier in the year. Since Simpson has taken over the CAO position, he has been hard at work managing the county and connecting with his counterparts in the communities falling within the county’s borders.

After just over a month on the job he said it is “So far, so good,” and he is looking forward to working with the Castor Council on several upcoming projects.

Other highlights of the Sept. 24 regular town council meeting:

• CAO Sandi Jackson presented the water and gas reports to council. Water showed a significant loss of 22.38 per cent, while gas losses on the town system were an acceptable 1.5 per cent.

• Bylaws 1062 and 1063, which deal with the Intermunicipal Development Plans and Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework with Paintearth County passed second and third readings.

• CAO Jackson, after doing research on the pending computer upgrades and finding no cheaper alternatives, recommended that Council approve the bid of around $27,000 by Trinus Computer Service to upgrade the town office computer infrastructure consisting of 5 computers, a laptop, and a computer server. A motion was made by Coun. Tony Nichols, and was approved unanimously by Council.

• CAO Jackson has begun work on a survey dealing with smoking in the community of Castor.

• Mayor Richard Elhard reported to Council that the Battle River Economic Opportunities Committer (BREOC) is facing a$152,000 staffing budget shortfall, and the partner communities may be required to contribute to make up the difference.

• Parkland Regional Library submitted the 2019 budget for 2019 which saw a $0.13 per capita increase in spending. Council requested CAO Jackson ask the librarian to attend council to answer questions before the budget is approved.

• Castor has been approved for Green Jobs Initiative funding which will fund a horticulture student for the fall and winter to help plan next years weed control program, the tree program, and help look for ways to control/eradicate the duckweed in the ponds. The student hired is Mackenzie Van Hienen, who will be working 10 hours a week until the end of March.

• Coun. Nichols told Council that the Ag. Society has approved Leanne Lougheed to set up the pickleball equipment in the Castor Hall on a trial basis.

• Coun. Rod Zimmer asked Asst. Town Foreman Weston Gibson about the potholes forming on 50 St. Gibson told council plans were in the works to get them filled in the next few days.

• Council will have their 2018-19 Organizational meeting Oct. 22.

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