The Town of Castor’s water system continues to make gains, still seeing loss

Thanks to the ongoing work of the Town of Castor’s public works employees, the water system in February had its lowest loss in years.

Council was informed of this news during the March 28 council meeting.

According to chief administrative officer (CAO) Christopher Robblee, the water losses in the system were sitting around 10.9 per cent, down from 17.9 per cent at the end of January.

“February was a really decent month,” said Robblee.

In terms of physical water lost, the loss represents around 215 cubic-metres of water that the town was charged for by the Shirley McLellan Regional Water Services Commission, but unable to charge on to consumers.

There are a variety of reasons, aside from system leaks, that the water could be charged to the town but not have the costs recovered, such as there being no meter at the camp grounds or in the town’s public facilities.

According to Robblee, a 200 cube loss of water “isn’t much.”

“It could be a toilet running in a public facility,” said Robblee.

According to Robblee, an average family in town uses around 80 cubic metres of water per month.

In January, the physical water lost was in excess of 1,100 cubic-metres.

Gas system

The Town of Castor’s gas system continues to be a bright spot for the town.

According to Robblee, 2021 was one of, but not quite, the best years on record for the municipally operated system.

Early into 2022, the trend with the system remains positive with the system already averaging a 2.41 per cent surplus.

The level of the 2022 surplus will ultimately depend on the weather, and how cold it gets, throughout the year.

Business Incentive Bylaw

Council has directed CAO Robblee to begin working on a business incentive bylaw for the community.

“I think it’s extremely important that we create one,” said Mayor Richard Elhard.

The rest of council agreed.

The bylaw, when completed, could look similar to the recently completed residential incentive bylaw which offers three years of tax relief for the development of a new property or redevelopment of an existing property within the town limits.

Councillor Cecil Yates made the motion, which was carried.

Land purchase

A business behind the new, town-owned, Castor Fire Hall has made an offer to the town to purchase a 13.6-metre strip on the south side of the property.

The land the fire hall and the business sit on were previously three separate parcels; however, at some time in the past the middle lot was split and joined to the business lot and the lot the new fire hall sits on.

The 13.6-metre strip of land the business would like to purchase would move the property line closer to the fire hall, and is land the business is already using.

“The fire department is in favour of it,” said Robblee.

Deputy Mayor Trudy Kilner motioned to go forward with purchase, saying “go for it.”

The motion was carried, with a sale price of $3,500.

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