By Cal Braid
Westwind Weekly News
Raymond Council met on May 17 and began with a delegation to appear before Council. Resident Stan Jackson, appearing on behalf of himself brought forward a request for the Town to participate in the restructuring of drainage ditches in Stonegate.The request was for ditch remediation due to standing water and poor drainage. Jackson stated that the water stands still, smells bad, and attracts insects and other vegetation. He proposed that the Town intervene with a structural remediation. A proposed solution was to add perforated culverts built over gravel; another was to insert slopes that would properly carry the water down the street to an existing drainage pond that holds water. The ditches were originally engineered to withstand a 100-year flood. The engineering firm consulted by the Town has indicated that the insertion of these structures has the potential to cause long term problems.
Delegate Peter Casurella, of Progressive West Consulting spoke to energy assessments that his team has been conducting for the Town as part of a two-year project. As part a Municipal Energy Management Opportunity Update, he presented benchmarking data that compared the energy uses and requirements of town facilities against other known facilities of the same type—for example, the Community Centre is “a large facility with aging infrastructure,” and has opportunity for improvements, whereas Victoria Sports Park is new and performing at a high level of efficiency and requires no updates.
“(The) interesting challenge in Raymond is your benchmarking is fantastic because of your solar. You’re already offsetting all of your energy use with solar production,” Casurella said. “And while all of the energy efficiency projects that we are going to do are going to yield money into your pockets, you’re starting at a high level compared with other communities of your size.”
The consulting company uses software to map the return on investment for engaging in energy improvement investments. He also put forth decisions to be made about prioritizing remediation measures versus actual energy savings projects.
Item 6.1 indicated that new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have rece
ived approval. Both the provincial and federal government have offered federal funding for EV stations in the community. Raymond was one of the first communities to apply and has been deemed eligible. The town will have two fast charging stations and one level two charging station that will be funded 99.9 per cent by the government program. The Town will pay out of pocket for the initial start up cost, but it will be almost completely reimbursed. The stations will be set up as pay-per-use stations so they will generate revenue. All were in favour.
Tax rate bylaw 1118-22 had its first reading on a proposed hike in property tax. Council read and discussed a 2.5 per cent increase in the mill rate for residential and non-residential properties. The minimum taxable amount for both improved and vacant properties used for general municipal purposes is proposed to increase from $950 to $1,050 per year. The minimum payable for units in a Designated Manufactured Home community is to be $650. Citizens can call the town office for comments or questions to give feedback on the first reading.
Estimated municipal revenues and transfers in the Town budget for 2022 total $16,524,271. The estimated revenues and transfers from sources other than taxation is estimated at $13,272,074. A balance of $3,252,197 is to be raised by municipal taxation.
Point 6.3 noted that the Province of Alberta has approved funding for a new high school in town as part of a capital spending plan. The first stage of the project will require rezoning of land, transfer of title, and subdivision of land. The community will assume costs for the installation of services up to the property line. Logistics of the services were also discussed.
The Town of Raymond posts it’s Council Meetings on YouTube and the May 17 meeting is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTQkzzNW9LU&t=4879s for residents who wish to view it.