County of Paintearth theft, and other highlights from June 15th meeting

It is believed they are the same people who broke into the Public Works yard a few days prior

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

County of Paintearth Public Works informed council of a break-in resulting in significant loss during their latest meeting.

The break-in occurred in the early morning hours of June 11th and it is believed that five people, possibly three men and two women based on security video, gained access to the County of Paintearth Public Works Yard by cutting a hole in the fence along Hwy. 12.

Once inside, the thieves went to work, breaking into an equipment shed on site, stealing a variety of small tools, a pair of New Holland 3500 inverter generators, and a pair of Stihl post-hole augers.

In total, the crew spent about an hour working in the yard.

Additionally, the catalytic converters were cut out of two County pick-up trucks, and a third was three-quarters removed.

When they left the site, they stole a County of Paintearth welding truck, which was later recovered, damaged and stripped of equipment except for the welder and gas cylinders.

“With all the repairs, and to replace tools, we’re sitting about $26,000,” said Public Works Director Bryce Cooke.

“That’s not labour, that’s just the cost of parts and tools for the Ag. Services Board.”

Coun. Diane Elliot questioned the security at the yard.

“Do we need to get a better security system out there?” asked Elliot.

“The cameras send (motion) alerts,” said Cooke. “If they were to enter the building, an alarm would go off.”

The County of Paintearth does have video of the thieves going to work, which will be posted to Paintearth County’s social media channels and has also been given to the Coronation RCMP.

It is believed that the thieves are the same people who broke into the Public Works yard a few days prior.

PEPS Stay and Play

Deputy Reeve Doreen Blumhagen, who also sits as the chairperson of the Paintearth Economic Partnership Society, informed council of a new initiative running in the County from June 1st through to Aug. 31st.

The ‘Stay and Play’ program is designed to get people to use the local facilities in Castor and Coronation.

A three-consecutive-night stay at any of the campgrounds in the County of Paintearth will get someone one free round of golf at either the Castor or Coronation golf courses, as well one free pool pass for either the Castor or Coronation swimming pool.

Campground stays eligible for the program include Burma Park, Huber Dam, Castor Lions, Castor RV Campground, Halkirk Berry Street Campground, Coronation Dam and the Coronation Bunkhouse.

Ball team funding

Per County funding policy, council has approved a $500 grant for the U15 Castor boys’ baseball team for the provincials being held the weekend of Aug. 27 to 30th.

The County has a policy where it, “Supports youth (18 years or younger) that participate in recreation and culture.”

And $5,000 is budgeted every year for this financial support, with the County providing up to $50 per individual or $500 per, “Team or club per application that are participating at a provincial, national, or international level.”

Public hearing

The County held a public hearing on Bylaw 701-21, the Municipal Development Plan Bylaw.

Two delegations presented their concerns with the new development plan, however during their discussion, it was discovered that they were reading the previous version, as the new version had inadvertently not been placed online for people to review.

Administration informed the delegation that if they had any more questions regarding the document, seeing as the wrong one was posted, they could get in touch with the County office.

The bylaw has passed its first reading and has now had the required public hearing.

It is expected for more discussion to occur before the second and final readings are given, likely in July.

Council will remain open to comments on the draft document until June 30th.