By Heather Cameron
For Westwind Weekly News
During Raymond’s regular council meeting on May 5 council passed the third reading to reroute trucks and dangerous goods along Highway 845 and increased minimum property taxes. Council also agreed to present the Raymond Beautification Group with $250. They also talked about Victoria Park, children playing in the Raymond Golf Course sand traps and the end of the Heritage Days Honoured Family.
Third Reading given to Bylaw 990-12
Counc. Ralph made a motion to pass the third reading of Bylaw 990-12 to change the route for trucks and dangerous goods so that it will be in conjunction with Highway 845 instead of going through town. The motion was passed by all in attendance. Counc. Holt was absent from the meeting.
Discussion of Bylaw 1016-15 Tax Rate
Even though there was discussion about the fact that the town’s limited power to charge manors and public housing caused a deficit, Scott Barton said that the Town is bringing in what was budgeted, so enough growth must have occurred that the Town is okay financially.
An increase, Barton said in a later interview, came through new commercial properties and commercial revenue. Barton also noted that most properties will see nominal changes in 2015 and the minimum property tax payable for properties was increased $200 dollars for both improved properties and vacant properties to $1000 and $800 respectively.
Barton also commented that 32 units in the trailer court were previously not being charged the minimum tax amount. Barton went on to say that the Council committee agreed to establish a separate minimum property tax amount of $400 on the trailer court properties at a committee meeting on May 12. Administration plans to contact those living in the Designated Manufactured Home Community, immediately, with the new rate.
With the Council deciding to accept this information because the deficit is causing no problems, Counc. Needham made a motion on May 5 to pass the bylaw through a third reading stating that there will be no need for an increase in the tax rate from the previous year. It was passed by all in attendance.
Town gives thanks for beauty
In response to a letter written by Phoebe Payne of the Raymond Beautification Group for a request of funds that would go towards the Yard of the Week Contest, which spotlights local yards in Westwind Weekly News throughout the summer, a motion was made by Counc. Depew and passed by all in attendance to donate $250 to the Beautification Group for that purpose. The Council also elected to send Phoebe Payne a letter of thanks for all of her hard work.
Victoria Park discussion
Richard Bohne, the community services director for the Town of Raymond, wrote a letter to the Town with suggestions for changes to the Victoria Park Project. Bohne’s suggestions included re-evaluating the need for a track due to concerns about cost, amount of usage, and the creation of a possible path system as an alternative idea.
Bohne also suggested that the bleachers at the new park be moved closer to the field so that more space for the public is available and also possibly be elevated slightly.
Although Bohne’s recommendations, Barton said, they have the potential to save a great deal of money, Counc. Ralph expressed concern about when the Southern Alberta Summer Games are hosted by Raymond and how the Town would want to showcase the new facility as much as possible.
Counc. Ralph also mentioned that the high school was potentially looking into hosting events to bolster interest in their track program, but Mayor Bohne suggested that
School Division be asked about any potential future plans concerning the track and see if the high school track could merely be properly upgraded instead of building one at the Victoria Park fields.
Bohne’s other recommendation was making sure there are water lines to the field, but subsequent discussion in Council determined that that issue had been sufficiently addressed.
Ultimately, Council decided to discuss the issue further in committee.
Local honoured for dedicated service
During the meeting, Council read a letter from Deputy Minister Brad Pickering stating that local resident Lanny Howard is to receive this year’s Exemplary Service Medal in recognition for his dedicated service to the Fire Department at a ceremony in Red Deer on May 24, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.
Council discussed sending someone to accompany Howard to the ceremony and also that both Howard and his guest would have their expenses covered by Council, as has been done in the past. A motion to approve funding Howard’s expenses and that of whoever would be accompanying him was made by Counc. Needham and passed by all in attendance.
Open house for collection of stories and history
Counc. Needham announced that the Raymond Historical Society will be holding an open house on May 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ridgeview Lodge for people to come and give information pertaining to various historical things or venues in Raymond. Counc. Needham said that recorders will be present for those who do not wish to, or are unable to, record the information themselves.
No more Honored Families
During the annual Heritage Days program a local family is customarily is honored. During the meeting’s roundtable discussion, Counc. Needham said that the Cultural Arts Committee will no longer have an honored family and are choosing to go a different direction due to the fact that it is very difficult to get people to participate. Mayor Bohne hopes that the new direction will reflect the changing demographic.
Sand trap trespassers
During the roundtable discussion, Mayor Bohne brought up concerns that children have been seen playing in the sand traps at the Raymond Golf Course and how not only that is dangerous, but also trespassing. Several suggestions were made by various Council members about how to address the situation.