By Mayor Richard Elhard
I was charged with the task of writing highlights for the year 2019. How do I highlight a town with so much going for it?
Castor, with its winding creeks, tree-lined streets, and beautiful parks with scenic walking paths, is home to a population of around 930 people.
We are a thriving active community located within the County of Paintearth.
The Town of Castor supports two school systems, Gus Wetter School – K to 12; and Theresetta Catholic School – K to 9.
Busy Beaver Daycare also provides assistance to working parents and are active in the community.
Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital and Extended Care provide excellent medical care, with two doctors in the community.
Castor is also fortunate to have Paintearth Lodge, a 55-unit supportive living for seniors. Additional housing options in the town include Castor Manors or low-income housing – rural and native housing.
We have full-time dentists at the Castor Dental Clinic, providing excellent dental care.
Massage therapists and chiropractic services provide optional hands-on care for the people in Castor and district.
Castor has an excellent and well-trained volunteer fire department that gives their time and efficient service to Castor and district.
East Central Ambulance continues to serve the area with well-trained EMTs and our policing is covered by the Coronation detachment.
Castor has something for everyone – be it for seniors or young families.
We have in our small town:
• a great business section that offers friendly shop-at-home services.
• a newly-renovated arena for many age level hockey programs.
• ball diamonds that support senior teams and ball for many age levels.
• an active curling rink with bonspiels ranging from Junior Funspiels to Men’s and Ladies’ spiels,
• a busy swimming pool that provides something for every age group.
• and for the gun enthusiast the Castor Trap Club.
• Exercise programs for all ages and yoga are offered.
• a great and scenic nine-hole golf course.
• There is a choice of churches in the town.
• our museum, a former station house, also includes a prairie grain elevator and rural school house, for those who care about our heritage. Recently renovated, we look forward to a grand opening in 2020.
• we have the Golden Circle senior center where one can host events, play cards or floor curl.
• a public library with a great selection of books.
• at the present time a group are working on providing a youth center.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2019
Long time CAO Sandi Jackson retired in March and new CAO Christopher Robblee and his wife Heather and three children and were welcomed to the community.
– The hockey program was extremely successful in the newly-renovated arena.
The pipeline moving through the area was a huge benefit to the region. The motel was full all summer, with the businesses being very busy. It also created employment.
– Castor and District Museum completed their renovation with a new freight shed which will be a great addition to Castor.
– Battle River Innovation Centre – BRIC – is a new facility in Castor that welcomes people looking to transition to a new employment opportunity. It also provides modern office spaces for rent.
– The Baseball Program was extremely successful with about 170 young people signed up. Highlights included a Western Canadian Championship with Castor being named as Small Baseball Association of the Year.
– April 16th saw a new MLA for Drumheller-Stettler – Nate Horner and in October with the resignation of Kevin Sorensen, Damien Kurek was elected MP for Battle River-Crowfoot.
In a local by-election Kevin McDougall was elected to fill a vacancy on our Town council.
Looking forward to 2020
– alumni game, Battle of Alberta to be held on March 29th – Flames vs. Oilers.
– newly renovated Museum Opening to be announced.
– the Castor Rodeo, the Castor Farmer’s Market, and the Castor Fair, will be planning for another successful year.
– Good Sam Club – trailer group are planning a huge Trailer Event in September in Castor. We are looking forward to hosting this event. Service clubs are gearing up to welcome the group.
– our local volunteer firemen are working hard towards the future opening of our new fire hall.
We are a warm and caring community that has active volunteers, people that step up to the plate when needed. They coach our young people, volunteer at Extendicare and Paintearth Lodge, are volunteer firemen, and help where help is needed.
Our service clubs and volunteers continue to be the engine that drives our community.
The Mayor and Town council are again looking forward to working with the citizens of Castor in keeping our town prosperous and successful.