Penhold affairs facing review

The province will examine the spending habits of the Town of Penhold following requests to conduct a municipal review.

The province will examine the spending habits of the Town of Penhold following requests to conduct a municipal review.

After the town raised taxes by 4.75 per cent this year, a number of citizens voiced their outrage to town council.

Mayor Dennis Cooper said in light of the concerns, town council requested a review from the province.

At the same time, town resident Ken McCarthy hosted a rally and gathered a petition with 585 signatures requesting the same action.

Wendy McGarth, a Municipal Affairs public affairs officer, confirmed that the province accepted the petition and will conduct a review in the coming months.

The inspector will look at the town’s policies, financial statements and the practices of the town and interview town council, staff and administration.

Cooper said the town has nothing to hide and welcomes the review.

“We think it’s a good thing,” said Cooper. “We feel we have been doing a good job within the standards of the Municipal Government Act. I am in an industry where we have inspections all the time. Having another set of eyes coming in and taking a look at our town is going to be good. We look forward for them to come in and do their due diligence.”

McCarthy questioned the town’s spending because he was faced with a $5,200 tax bill for 2012, compared to a $4,700 bill in 2009. McCarthy hopes the review will give residents a clear picture of what’s happening with their tax dollars.

A date has not been set for the review but it is expected to be conducted in the next six months or so.

An inspection can be triggered by requests by municipal council, an elector’s petition or by order of the minister.

After the inspection, the reviewer will compile a report including directives, submit it to the minister and town, and finally present it at a public meeting.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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