By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
The Town of Castor has passed two new bylaws during the most recent council meeting held Sept. 28th, 2020.
The first bylaw passed is Bylaw 1080, an amendment to the municipalities Land Use Bylaw. Bylaw 1080 amends the Land Use Bylaw allowing “renewable energy systems” to be used within the town borders.
Examples of energy systems allowed within the new bylaw are solar power for commercial and household use, geothermal; which uses “a heat pump to warm or cool air by utilizing the constant temperatures of the earth,” and wind-power for household use.
The new bylaw defines the various renewable energy systems and provides minimum requirements for the systems, as well as the placement requirements of the individual components.
An example of solar panel placement says, “Solar panels must be located such that they do not create undue glare on neighbouring parcels or public roadways.”
For further information on the renewable energy bylaw, contact the Town of Castor office.
The second new bylaw to be enacted is Bylaw 1081, the Airport Bylaw.
Outlining acceptable use of the property, the bylaw defines various aspects and uses of the facility and sets out fees and fines for facility usage and contravention of the posted rules.
An example of the safety rules provided in the bylaw include no smoking on the airport apron; users must follow appropriate federal, provincial and municipal laws; and access being limited to users authorized by the airport manager, or considered to be aircrew, ground crew, or passengers of an aircraft positioned at the airport.
The new bylaw replaces Bylaw 656, the previous airport bylaw from the late 1970s.
Parkland Regional Library System
Castor Town Council has approved the Parkland Regional Library System budget for 2021. The per capita expense to the Town remains at 2020 levels, at $8.55 per capita, with a total requisition from the Town of around $8,000.
“It’s not a ton of money,” said Castor Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee.
“But we still have to pay it. Any money is money.”
The total Parkland Regional Library Systems budget for 2021 is around $3.5 million, paid for through a combination of municipal requisitions and government grants. Castor is one of approximately 50 municipalities which participates in the Parkland system.
The Town-owned gas system is currently operating at a 0.6 per cent loss, though the number is expected to get closer to zero when the weather cools off.
Under Government of Alberta legislation, municipality-owned gas systems must operate within three per cent of zero. A surplus or deficit of more than three per cent will trigger an audit.
The Town of Castor water system is currently running at a 19.73 per cent loss, an increase of .73 per cent from Dec. 31st, 2019, however the number is trending down, and CAO Robblee who anticipates a loss of around 18 per cent by the end of the year.
“It makes sense because (council) changed the utility bylaw recently,” said Robblee.