By Cal Braid
Westwind Weekly News
The following are selected briefs from the Town of Raymond council meeting on June 28.
The Raymond Adult Pickleball organizer, Lori Eakett, made an interesting offer to Council. In a letter to the Town, Eakett and her group proposed to make improvements to the tennis courts that would convert them into dual-use tennis and pickleball surfaces. The pickleball group quoted a cost of $1755.96 plus GST that they would assume for the project materials.
Kurtis Pratt, CAO for the Town said, “Last week, (we discussed) the possibility of making some improvements to the western tennis court,” and outlined the plan to have two permanent pickleball courts set up there. The upgrade would involve painting lines, setting up temporary nets, and installing net posts and a wind screen. The east tennis court would remain designated for tennis only. The Town would incur some costs for installing the net posts and pressure-washing the courts before the line painting. Council voted in favour, noting that pickleball is becoming as popular— if not more popular— than tennis on the town courts.
The Cobblestone Lane drainage problem came up again for discussion and made little headway aside from designating a date for a more formal review of a solution. Coun. Sieben said, “We discussed this a week ago and there were questions about getting a report from the engineer. Kurtis has informed me that the engineer is on holidays and will not be able to provide a letter until the end of the month, however we do have people that would like an answer or solution to the ditch question.”
Pratt noted the engineer will, “have written recommendations for the July 12 committee meeting. With our revised meeting schedule, technically you can’t make any decisions on it until July 28.”
Mayor Depew said, “I understand these residents would like to have some answers. It’s hard for us to make a decision without having our people give us the proper help to make the right choice on this.” Council will wait until that date before proceeding further with the discussion.
Patrick Treadwell, an external auditor with Mercer Wilde Group (MWG), was the only delegation to appear at the meeting. He presented an independent auditor’s report that gave an analysis of the Town’s bank accounts and finances through 2021. Treadwell said that “(It was) a clean audit report. Through our analysis and through our work, we didn’t find any concerns, so we can give a clean audit report to the Town.”
Treadwell touched upon some of the notable numbers from the detailed report. Some of the assets and liabilities included:A rise in total revenue from just under $8 million in 2020, up to $8.4 million in 2021; a rise in expenses from $8.3 million in 2020 to $9.1 million in 2021; an excess of revenue over expenses (net income) of $250, 000; a rise in cash holdings from $1.2 million in 2020 to $1.6 million in 2021 and; net financial assets fell from $8 million debt to $7.8 million, a noted improvement.
Treadwell explained that these are “financial assets lessen your liabilities.”
Non-financial assets amounted to $33 million. These are tangible capital assets like buildings and vehicles and “everything that the Town owns,” assessed at fair market value. Treadwell also mentioned the salary and benefits disclosure, which details the Council’s salaries, and is public information.
Discussion of the financial report was short and simple. A review of the budget from Jan. 1-June 16 met a rough estimate of where it should be.
Council also passed a motion to accept correspondence to an invitation from the Pincher Creek Parade to enter a float or have a Council representative participate in their event on August 20. The Town of Pincher Creek will host a dignitary luncheon after the event for visiting Mayors, Councillors, dignitaries, and their guests.
Council moved into a closed session after this.