(File photo)

(File photo)

Rimbey council denies another utility bill reduction request

The Town of Rimbey council has denied a utility bill reduction request during their most recent meeting on Feb. 14.

During the meeting, administration reported that a letter had been received from a town resident asking for a reduction of their $825 utility bill from December.

According to the council Request for Decision included in the meeting agenda package, the resident ended up with a high water utility bill due to a broken toilet in one of the resident’s properties.

The leak was not discovered until the bill was received, and the resident was asking for consideration in having the bill reduced.

“Administration recommends that council deny the request,” said chief executive officer Lori Hillis.

“The cost to maintain the water system doesn’t change with the use of the water.”

Further, the Request for Decision continued, “all costs to the water system are applicable to any water that has been used whether from a leaking toilet, water break, or a hose left on outside in the summer.”

Coun. Wayne Clark put forward the motion that the water bill be upheld, noting that doing so would be consistent with previous requests received recently.

The motion was carried.

Local Organization Operational Funding

Rimbey council has approved a new funding framework policy for local organizations requesting operating funds from the town.

The new policy will require that going forward any organization requesting funding from the town will be required to submit: a letter of request outlining the money required and the reasons for the request, the most recent organizational financial statements, and the current year’s budget.

“I think it’s prudent we, as caretakers of the town’s funds, require that the organizations actually need the money,” said Mayor Rick Pankiw, who requested administration draft the policy.

According to Pankiw, the information will allow council to make better “educated decisions” based on the information provided.

Mayor Pankiw put forward the motion, which was carried in a four to one split vote.

Funding requests covered under this new policy do not include requests which fall under the Community Events Grant Program, just requests from community events outside that program.

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Society

Lance Hannesson with the Rimbey Neighbourhood Play Society presented as a delegation to Rimbey council.

The society is requesting permission from the town to create a natural park and a children’s play-space on the old arena site located on 49 St.

If approved, the first phase of the park would be approximately 80 feet by 80 feet long.

A portion of the property is owned by the town and a portion is owned by the agricultural society.

The Neighbourhood Play Society is requesting, in writing, permission and a letter of support from the town for the project to assist with grant applications.

Additionally, because of the concrete that must be removed, the play society is requesting that the town’s concrete disposal fee be waived. It is also unknown if there is rebar in the concrete or not so the cost to the town for the fee waiver could be in between $10,000 and $16,000, however could be considered an in-kind donation to the project.

Administration’s recommendation to council was to both support the project and waive the concrete disposal fee.

Coun. Jamie Coston moved to support the project, which was carried unanimously.

Coun. Clark moved to waive the concrete disposal fee, which also carried.

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