Town of Castor

Town of Castor

Castor’s Beaverdome back before council

Town of Castor council highlights for Nov. 22, 2021.

Castor’s Beaverdome was back before council during their Nov. 22,2021, meeting.

Despite a $1 million-plus renovation to the public-facing portion of the arena which was completed in 2019, the facility infrastructure surrounding the ice plant continues to deteriorate.

Current issues plaguing the aging arena include a compressor leaking oil back into a chiller, and a safety issue revolving around the fact that there is currently no alarm system in place in case of an ammonia leak.

Due to both the relative low cost of the repair, and the rather significant damage that could be incurred if the repair is not done promptly, town administration has already approved the compressor repair at an estimated cost of around $8,000.

In addition to that repair, council has approved the installation of an ammonia leak detection system which would have an audible and visual warning inside and outside the building in case of a leak. Administration is also seeking costs for remote monitoring of the system.

The cost of the ammonia leak detection system is around $5,000.

However, these repairs do nothing to address the many other significant issues facing the building.

A report commissioned by the town in 2019, and presented to the previous council by Startec Service, the company who services and maintains the arena ice plant, found several deficits in the building, including the need to update the ice plant electrical panel, improve the ventilation, and increase the size of the compressor room to allow for proper setbacks from walls.

According to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Christopher Robblee, the previous council accepted the report as information in 2019, but chose to do nothing with it at the time.

“I think we need a whole new system,” said Coun. Cecil Yates. “$80,00 here, $60,000 here, this is nuts.”

Since it has been nearly three years since the report was released, Robblee has contacted Startec Services to provide another, updated, estimate for complete work needed to bring the Beaverdome up to code, though he estimates the full scope of the work will come in between $400,000 and $500,000.

Vehicle purchase

Using funds received from the Government of Alberta Municipality Sustainability Initiative (MSI), Castor’s town council has approved the purchase of two new-to-the-town used pickup trucks for the town’s fleet.

Provided both vehicles are still available, the vehicles approved for purchase are a 2012 Dodge Ram from Hanna Chrysler at a cost of $18,000, and a 2008 Ford F-150 from Edmonton Truck Sales at a cost of just under $8,000.

As part of the motion, council is giving Robblee discretion to purchase any other suitable vehicle if one or both of these vehicles are sold by the time the town goes to purchase them.

“I think if we can purchase two trucks, we should,” said Coun. Trudy Kilner.

The first $25,000 of the vehicle purchase will come from the MSI funding, and any extra will be funded from reserves. The town can claim back any GST paid on the vehicles back.

If the vehicles are not purchased and invoiced by the Dec. 31, 2021, the $25,000 would need to be returned to the province, and the funds can only be used for which they are applied, which, in this case, are new vehicles.

With the purchase of the new vehicles, one or two of the older vehicles in the fleet will be retired, and possibly sold.

Main Street closure

Town council has received a request to shut down a portion of Main Street on Dec. 10 from 3 to 9 p.m. for a “Spirit of Christmas” event, which would feature live music and a visit from Santa Claus.

Since Main Street is part of Highway 599, the town can not actually authorize the closure of the road for the event, though they can offer their support to the applicant in their request to Alberta Transportation.

“I don’t mind the idea,” said Mayor Richard Elhard.

However, since the letter of request was missing some information, council has directed CAO Robblee to work with the applicant on several concerns.

The concerns include getting signed agreement from all affected businesses in the area of closure, and find out what the applicant intends to do as far as washrooms for participants in the outdoor event area.

If the concerns are addressed to CAO Robblees satisfaction, he has been authorized to provide the letter of support to Alberta Transportation requesting the road closure.

Fireworks

The new year will be coming in with a bang.

Town council has authorized a New Years Eve fireworks display.

Like last year, the fireworks show will be taking place at the south end of the Castor Golf Course.

The applicant had requested to move the display to a two-acre lot of land north of Theresetta School, where the fireworks could be launched over the Castor Creek, but due to fire department access concerns council instead opted to have the fireworks remain at the same location as before.

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