By Heather Cameron
For Westwind Weekly News
During the Town of Raymond’s April 21 council meeting, council was presented with the 2014 Audit, a broadband feasibility study was discussed and changes to the Dangerous Goods and Truck routes were proposed.
Delegation gives report on 2014 Audit
Mercer Wilde, a delegation sent to give the Town Council a report on the 2014 Audit, said that Council had gone over specifics on the financial statements before the meeting and the audit was done in accordance with standards.
During the report, Wilde mentioned several figures and Counc. Robinson commented that the increase in revenue without the Town having to really raise taxes shows a healthy town and good growth. According to CAO Scott Barton, 2014 was a good year for the acquirement of provincial and federal grants that will be used on developing projects and initiatives throughout 2015. The audit, Barton says, cleared off all debts except those relating to the swimming pool and allows for a response to be given to future projects requiring financing.
Fees from 2014, however, increased in the areas of administrative and financial support, water treatment operator services, and peace officer services that are for the town’s benefit.
Councillor Needham made a motion to approve the auditor report as presented and everyone in attendance passed the motion. Mayor Wolsey was not at the meeting.
Broadband Feasibility Study discussed
Counc. Robinson brought forth information about a study that would focus on delivery of broadband services to every residential or commercial establishment in Raymond. According to the information provided, the study’s intention is to provide more information about broadband services and how it would be beneficial to the community.
Counc. Needham’s concerns were that Raymond would be paying for information that could be potentially used by other communities, but Counc. Robinson said that the information presented was specific to Raymond and also that if Telus happened to come into the community, the taxpayers money directed to this might be wasted. Counc. Holt suggested that $6,500 of the MSI funding, which was originally directed at pool renovation, be redirected to match the $6,500 already in the broadband project.
Counc. Ralph expressed the desire to see how and if other communities had positive experiences from participating in broadband projects and CAO Scott Barton said that the study would provide valuable information to placate concerns. Counc. Robinson added that having this broadband study and potential project is a huge opportunity for Raymond and could potentially be a revenue source.
Counc. Robinson then made a motion that $6,500 worth of MSI funding be redirected for this study to match the $6,500 already invested, providing enough to cover the cost. All who were present voted to allocate the extra money for the study.
Truck and Dangerous Goods Routes changing
The routes for trucks and dangerous goods are set to change from down Railway Avenue and North Broadway to Highway 52 to align with Highway 845. According to Scott Barton, this change is beneficial because said traffic will no longer be travelling through town, specifically the residential area on North Broadway.
A motion for first reading was made by Counc. Depew and passed by all in attendance. A motion for a second reading was then made by Counc. Robinson and unanimously passed. Upon a third and final reading of this amendment, which is referred to as Bylaw 990-12, the change will be put into effect.
Location For Rogers telecommunications tower In place
A final motion for the surveyor’s documents on the exact location for the installation for the Rogers telecommunications facility at Victoria Park was made by Counc. Robinson and passed unanimously, thereby allowing for the installation of the telecommunications tower to happen this spring.
New Community Services Director for Town of Raymond
Raymond local Richard Bohne who has a Master’s Degree in Recreation Management and years of experience in various projects, has been appointed Community Services Director for the Town of Raymond. While there was discussion in Council meeting about how public perception might be that nepotism caused Bohne to be hired for such a position, as Counc. Depew received a phone call late at night from an irate citizen with concerns about the hiring of Bohne and his salary, they did not sese concerns with Bohne taking on such a position, as proper procedures were followed.
Counc. Wolsey said that the public perception might be negative and Counc. Ralph stated that Raymond is a small community and that someone qualified shouldn’t be prevented from taking on a position just because they happen to be related to someone on Council.
According to policy, any time a family member of someone on Town Council is to be hired on at any Town facility, a motion for Council approval must be made. A motion was made by Counc. Ralph to approve the hiring and all in attendance voted to pass the motion.
Library Board information
During the roundtable discussion, Counc. Ralph stated that the library board said that the repainting of the library was going slower than expected and still needed finishing. Counc. Ralph also stated that the library board was also looking for people to become part of the board.
Peace Officer Program discussion
At another point during the roundtable discussion, Counc. Robinson asked Council if there was any specific questions regarding the Peace Officer Program.
Counc. Wolsey mentioned that some people have trouble distinguishing between the peace officers and sheriffs while Counc. Robinson mentioned that a lot of people like the comfort of living in Raymond and a bigger presence of peace officers and police in general makes them less comfortable.
Counc. Needham observed that it was very interesting that people are comfortable, but less comfortable with more police presence. Counc. Robinson also said that the community often thinks that there are three peace officers when, in reality, Raymond only has use of the three officers and that the officers also cover surrounding communities. Counc. Holt also said that people cannot ask officers to enforce the law and then ask them to pick and choose what laws they enforce.