Bashaw town council discussed better ways to get photographs within the community after the municipal photo contest only received two entries. The discussion was held at the Sept. 20 regular meeting of council.
Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller provided councillors with a memo summarizing the two entries into the contest.
“The participation for the photo contest was poor,” stated Fuller in her memo to council.
She noted she was surprised the town didn’t receive more entries, with Coun. Jackie Northey noting there are many talented photographers around Bashaw.
Northey asked if the town could hire a photographer to attend Bashaw events all summer and shoot photos, perhaps even getting photos of some local businesses as well. Coun. Kyle McIntosh agreed.
During discussion councillors agreed they liked both submissions.
Councillors passed resolutions picking the contest winners, then passed a resolution that town staff contact the school to see if a student was interested in taking photographs for the Town of Bashaw.
During the committee reports part of the agenda Mayor Rob McDonald noted he and CAO Fuller recently met with an industrial company active in Bashaw, Benchmark Commodities, regarding what the mayor referred to as “the noise issue.” McDonald stated he was satisfied with the meeting as the Benchmark Commodities representatives told the mayor they are aware of the noise their operation is apparently making and, “…they’re working on improvements.”
About a year ago a number of community members complained to the Town of Bashaw about industrial noise coming from Benchmark Commodities’ property and according to comments made at council meetings at that time it apparently revolved around loud machining of train cars. This directly led the town council to revise their public disturbance bylaw to include fines for loud industrial noise.
During discussion of this topic councillors referred to a closed session item listed on the agenda, item 10.1 described as “Legal – Noise Complaints FOIP Section 27.”
When a councillor asked if Benchmark Commodities was the subject of this item the CAO responded she couldn’t answer that question.
Closed session is a part of the agenda under the authority of both the Municipal Government Act and FOIP legislation that permits councillors to discuss certain issues behind closed doors.
However, no resolutions may be passed in closed session; resolutions can only be passed in the open council meeting.
Councillors, after examining ATCO gas and pipeline franchise fee rates, decided to leave them at last year’s 13 per cent. The franchise revenue is paid by the utility company to the municipality as a fee for doing business in Bashaw; virtually all Alberta communities have these agreements with utility companies.
At past council meetings covered by the ECA Review in Bashaw and other communities it’s been stated that if councils increase their franchise fee rate, the utility company will simply pass on that hike to their customers.
Councillors discussed the Bashaw arena and the status of skating ice. Staff noted the ice is currently being made and if everything went according to plan t should be ready to go by the Sept. 23 weekend.
Fuller added the staff usually make ice for the end of Sept. to ensure training programs and schools are accomdoated.
Coun. McIntosh asked staff about moles in the cemetery and whether they are still an issue. Staff responded ominously that they are not a problem anymore.
Coun. Cindy Orom added that she had heard a lot of positive feedback in the community over the summer about the attractive appearance of the Bashaw cemetery.
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Sep 28, 2023