By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
Bylaw update passes first reading
The Town of Castor has made the first step towards updating their Land Use Bylaw.
Council passed first reading of an update to the bylaw which will allow residents to use “renewal energy systems” such as solar, wind, or geothermal. The bylaw update specifies setback limits for alternative energy sources, such as the placement of solar panels or wind turbines within town limits.
Now that the bylaw has passed first reading, a public hearing, which must be advertised public for two weeks, must be held. Provided there is no input from the public necessitating a change to the bylaw, council will be able to approve the bylaw updates following the hearing.
As a member municipality of Paintearth Regional Waste Management (PRWM), Town of Castor council, along with all municipal partners, is required to pass an annual ‘unanimous consent’ motion allowing PRWM to donate $100,000 towards the Paintearth Economic Partnership Society for 2020 operations.
There is no cost to the Town of Castor in allowing the request, as, “The financial implication is borne by Paintearth Regional Waste Management LTD.”
Council approves new garbage truck
Castor Town Council has approved the purchase of a new garbage truck to replace the aging unit that the Town has been operating.
The project was tendered, and four tenders for the project were received. A combined council and administration committee was struck to review the bids. Two of the bids were dismissed early on, and after deliberation, the committee chose the third tender, a previously used 2019 Freightliner.
The total cost for the project will be just under $189,000.
The Town of Castor’s current garbage truck is nearly 20 years old and beginning to give the public works crew who operates it problems.
Additionally, the frame, box, and garbage compactor are all beginning to rust out. Public works was able to work with the new truck before a final decision was made and noted their approval.
Gas & water systems
The Town of Castor is “gaining on the loss” in both the Town-owned gas and water systems. The gas system is currently operating at a 0.65 per cent loss, which is down from previous months.
“We’re shooting for zero,” said CAO Christopher Robblee. Any variation in losses or gains by plus or minus three per cent will trigger a review.
The water system is also gaining ground, with the operational loss being down to under 20 per cent.
“Water is at a 19.73 per cent loss,” said Robblee.
“We’re aiming for a 17 per cent loss by the end of the year.”
The Town of Castor has collected 96 per cent of all outstanding taxes, totalling over $1.1 million. The four per cent outstanding taxes represent four or five total accounts.
With a COVID-19 pandemic shortened swimming season, the Castor pool was anticipating total revenues for the summer of between $15,000 to $18,000, a number which was surpassed.
As of Aug. 11th, the Castor pool had a total revenue exceeding $20,600. While the number is good, the pool, as do all recreation facilities in the community, operates at a yearly deficit.
The last day for the 2020 swimming pool season will be Aug. 29th.