By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
The hockey season may have been abruptly canceled but, if the provincial restrictions keep easing, youth will have a new opportunity for some recreation in Castor.
Council voted in favour of the community recreation department opening a ball hockey league beginning March 1st, and running through until the end of May, at no charge to the participants.
This is being done thanks to an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 in savings in power and utilities due to the ice being pulled out of the Castor Beaverdome.
Some of that savings is being diverted back into recreation.
The needed equipment to run the league will be around $1,500, and rental costs of the arena will cost around $4,500, which means that the Town will still see $2,000 to $4,000 in savings with the ice out of the rink.
The Town of Castor moved to shut down the arena after the Province of Alberta didn’t originally include team sports in the first phase of the reopening plan.
Based on that announcement, Alberta Hockey announced that the season would be suspended for the year. Late last week, the provincial government changed the rules surrounding team sports. While league play is still not allowed, teams, up to 10 players at a time, are allowed to practise effective Feb. 8th.
With that change, there was some discussion about rebuilding the ice in the rink and keeping the arena going, however because the process had already been started it would have been cost prohibitive to reactivate the plant and start making ice once again.
“It would cost $5,000 to restart the plant,” said Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee. That cost would have been over and above the utility costs and staff time to rebuild the ice. In addition, the Castor Recreation Department conducted an informal poll asking the minor hockey teams if they would use the ice again if it was put back, and only one team responded affirmatively.
“Unless league play comes back full force, they don’t have an interest,” said Robblee.
As part of the discussion surrounding the arena and the ball hockey program, Coun. Rod Zinger made a motion to submit a letter to Premiere Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw expressing their displeasure at the Province’s ever-changing rules.
“I would like to make a motion to send our Premier, (Health Minister) Shandro, and (Chief Medical Officer of Health) Hinshaw a letter (discussing) how wishy-washy they are,” said Coun. Rod Zinger.
The motion was also accepted, and administration will prepare the letter.
More details for the ball-hockey league will be available later in the month, as the Province moves closer to its second stage of reopening.
The Town of Castor’s new garbage truck sprung an anti-freeze leak. The leak was fixed in Red Deer under warranty, however the cost of hauling, estimated at $2,000, was not covered.
After checking with various agencies who offered the service, the truck was hauled to Red Deer by Filipenko Brothers, who had the cheapest rate.
There was a break-in at the Town shop involving an employee vehicle, as well as a break-in at the water plant. Due to increasing break-ins in the community, Town of Castor administration has been in the process of improving video surveillance at the Town of Castor office, and with the latest break-in, is now looking at a security system for the Town shop.
After suspecting a water leak in the Town of Castor system, administration has been proven right, with a water leak located on the north edge of town. The leak has not made it to surface but is instead saturating the ground and entering the sewage system through a local resident’s septic system.
The location of the leak has been marked using leak locating.
Due to the extreme cold gripping the province, the Town of Castor has hired a hydrovac out of Stettler to conduct the dig, beginning Feb. 9th.
Traffic in the area will be diverted onto a town-owned right of way that goes up behind Theresetta School and Paintearth Lodge. The hydrovac truck owned by the Town of Castor cannot operate in the extreme temperatures the province is facing.