By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
In a move likely to make the majority of residents happy – at least the residents with children – the Town of Castor council decided during its May 25th meeting to reopen the playgrounds, effective immediately.
The move comes as the Government of Alberta has eased restrictions on outdoor activities related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Information coming the from government says that the parks still need to be disinfected, however, the onus for that cleaning has moved to the users of the equipment instead of the Town.
“Regulations are solely the parents’ responsibility,” said CAO Christopher Robblee, during the meeting.
“Playgrounds are opening back up. There’s no reason to keep our playgrounds closed now.”
With the amended regulations, the municipality is required to post a COVID-19 notice about proper cleaning, which public works will do at their earliest opportunity. Parents and children using the playground equipment are encouraged to use hand-sanitizer before and after use, as well as keeping their hands away from their faces.
Organized sports are still cancelled for the foreseeable future.
In conjunction with the order to reopen the playgrounds, council has also ordered the reopening of the Town of Castor office, effective June 1st, as long as the requisite safety equipment is in place.
Other highlights of the May 25th meeting:
• In relation to a request received previously, Town administration has begun looking into the ability for residents to pay their Town bills through other financial institutions. The decision has been made to allow the payment of bills at Scotiabank, in addition to TD bank, Vision Credit Union and ATB. Due to the fees that would be charged, the decision was made to not add CIBC or Royal Bank.
• Council and administration discussed the potential of creating a secondary, for-profit business run by the municipality. Council decided not to move forward with this at this time.
• Chris Annand from Chapman and Co. Professional Accountants attended the meeting via Zoom, and discussed the Town of Castor’s audit. There were no unusual findings in the audit.
• The Town of Castor water system is running at a just under 24 per cent loss as of the end of April, due in large part to a pair of significant breaks in February and March. Administration is aiming to get the loss back down to 20 per cent by the end of the year.
• The Town of Castor gas system is running a 2.3 per cent loss.
• Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium has asked council to review Bylaw 1026, the cemetery Bylaw, particularly the sections around memorials. Council accepted the letter for information.