By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
With the Town of Castor gas truck suffering unrepairable engine damage a few months ago, administration has been looking for a new truck.
Administration has checked with dealers in the region looking for three-quarter-ton and one-ton used trucks, with little success.
“A used three-quarter ton goes quickly, and (with the cost of one tons), there’s not very many (three-quarter tons) anymore,” said Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee.
Checking the dealerships, a three-quarter ton truck was found on the lot in Hanna for $10,800, a 2003 GMC Sierra with 220,000 km on it.
Another used vehicle, a 2019 model with 50,000 km on it was found in Lethbridge for just under $52,000.
Additionally, administration priced out new, 2022, three-quarter ton trucks from local area dealers, which came in with a cost spread between $48,000 for one out of Hanna GMC, and just under $70,000 for one from Stettler GMC.
“Council should also note that used vehicles tend to increase our repair budget, as a vehicle increases with age, we find an increase in the repair budget line item,” wrote Robblee, in his request for council’s decision before recommending that council proceed with the purchase of a new truck from Hanna GMC.
The costs for the truck do not include a used toolbox for the back of the truck, which is estimated to cost between $6,000 and $11,000 for a good used one.
In a motion put forward by Coun. Kevin McDougall, council opted to purchase the used truck from Hanna Motor Products for $10,800.
In a separate motion, Coun. McDougall approved the expenditure of up to $6,000 for a slide in toolbox for the new truck. If one cannot be found in that price range, it will be brought back to council.
The expenditure on the new vehicle, and toolbox is an unbudgeted item for 2021, however per their contract with the Alberta Gas Federation, the Town of Castor is required to have a dedicated gas-service truck.
After receiving questions about the Town of Castor’s tree work, the Town is updating its tree policy.
The updated policy will serve as a guide for administration and Public Works where it comes to various tree-related services, such as tree trimming and removal, etc.
“This is just modernizing (the policy),” said Robblee, during the meeting.
The updated policy was approved as presented.
With this fall’s municipal elections coming up fast, the Town of Castor needs to appoint a returning officer, via bylaw.
To that effect, CAO Robblee has been appointed as returning officer for the upcoming election, in a motion put forward by Coun. Brenda Wismer.
Also, to do with the upcoming election, the Town of Castor council has approved a resolution allowing for institutional voting at the Paintearth Lodge and Castor Extendicare long-term care.
With Dr. Noelle O’Riordan’s impending departure from the community, the doctor’s house she currently resides in will remain vacant.
The residence is owned by the Town, the County and the hospital, in one-third shares for physician use, with the Town of Castor doing the maintenance and snow removal.
Per insurance regulations, a residence must be checked every 48 to 72 hours.
With that in mind, Castor’s physician recruitment has asked the Town to take on that responsibility until the new doctor arrives in spring of next year.
“Physician recruitment is asking us to do it,” said CAO Robblee.
“We’ll probably make it part of the summer student rounds.”
Coun. Trudy Kilner put forward a motion to maintain and check the doctor’s house until a new doctor arrives, which was carried.