By Anna Smith
Due to a motion to cancel what would be a prompt post-Christmas meeting, December 11 marked the final meeting for the Town of Bow Island’s Council.
Council passed a motion to move $434,952 from the unrestricted surplus to various restricted surplus, with $250,000 for Common Service Equipment, Capital $10,000 for Water Distribution, $100,000 for Parks, $50,000 for Common Services, and $24,952 for a new reserve established for the Multiplex.
“I looked at a whole bunch of other small municipalities and the balance of restricted versus restricted surplus. The vast majority have a very small amount of unrestricted money. Almost everything is dedicated to restricted surplus,” said CAO Dave Matz. He noted that Bow Island is unique in that they have a good deal of land held through resale, that can’t be reserved as it isn’t actually cash.
However, the worth of this land can be spent in a similar manner, and as such, Matz made a recommendation of how much could be reasonably transferred into various reserves.
After some discussion as to precise numbers and the nature of the reserves, the motion was passed. The purpose of the allocation is to help with allocation of funding for projects and the expensing of the aforementioned projects, as they “don’t really have a way of expensing from an unrestricted account.”
It was noted during the councillor reports that the Christmas Market was an exceptional success for the Chamber of Commerce.
It was also noted that Council was approached by a nurse at the Bow Island Health Centre in regards to arranging some kind of recruitment drive, as it’s currently believed that the emergency services may be on the verge of closing their doors due to low staffing.
It was shared that they are likely one stress leave away from not being able to maintain it, but the union has money for anyone qualified and willing to work; despite having jobs posted, they are having significant issues gaining staff.
One of the issues noted by Council is the lack of housing in Bow Island for prospective staff, an ongoing concern in many fields that continues with possible contract nurses.
Further investigation into what can be done to address this issue for these incoming nurses is under consideration, with the idea of compiling a list of homes willing to board nurses being brought up as a potential option.