Utility write-offs and the arena were the main topics of the brief Feb. 25 Town of Castor Council meeting.
By Kevin J Sabo
For the Advance
Castor Town Administration may be feeling pressure over the arena renovation project.
Another change order was presented to council after the work had already been completed was presented to council for acceptance.
This change order was for the safety glass that lines the upper railings in the arena, the change order requiring an upgrade to the glass for the safety. Council was upset with the fact that this change order had not been seen previously, nor had it been approved by them.
“That’s not how you do business,” said Coun. Rod Zimmer.
This is the sixth change order that has been issued and authorised outside of council, and there has been a growing concern from council that not all the change orders have been presented. Council has asked that the incoming CAO, Christopher Robblee, bring all the change orders before council again so that the variances can be seen before any further decision was made.
Council also made a request that the architect who would have had to sign off on the changes be asked to attend a council meeting so questions can be asked.
The arena renovation was completed in Dec,2018, after nearly $1 million of work was completed. The end result has left residents mixed due to decreased sightlines on the observation level.
In addition to the renovations the town subsidizes the arena, and all recreational facilities, to the amount of approximately $100,000 a year, plus capital expenses.
This amount includes approximately 250 hours a year for making and maintaining the ice surface, as well as insurance at the curling rink. Given the renovations and the ongoing subsidy, this issue will likely be coming up again in future council meetings.
Also presented at the meeting, the town is writing off $284.66 worth of outstanding utilities balances, some of which have been unpaid since 2016. Unable to charge the outstanding balances to the tax roll because of a change in ownership of the affected properties, administration has made the recommendation to write-off the utilities.
“They just aren’t paying,” said outgoing CAO Sandi Jackson during the meeting. “It’s not very much in the big picture.”
Jackson cited the reason for the four bills in question is in each case, the bills were cut off mid-month and the residents and or owners of the properties had moved before the town was able to send the final bills. Council agreed to the recommendation of administration, and the utilities were waived in a motion made by Coun. Lonny Nelner.