Wetaskiwin County council was presented with two requests for fine penalty cancellations during its Dec. 20 meeting, one approved the other denied.
Earlier this year the South Pigeon Lake Fire Department responded to a structure fire along Highway 13.
Council was informed the invoice for $4,252 was eventually covered by insurance, but wasn’t paid on time and a penalty was levied. “But of course because it took so long there was a penalty ($64.75) applied to it,” said Grace French, director of finance.
Councillors approved waiving the penalty fee with no discussion on the matter.
Quattro Exploration and Product Inc. with its penalty cancellation request was not so lucky.
Council was informed Quattro Exploration and Product Inc. owns nine properties withing the County of Wetaskiwin and had an outstanding $85,650 property tax balance dating back to 2015.
“Quattro is proposing to pay $43,000 of that total,” said Rene Boutin, director of assessment services.
“In this case administration recommends council deny the request. We would consider forgiving these taxes wouldn’t be an equitable decision,” he said, adding that other oil and gas companies face similar situations.
Council’s decision to deny the request was unanimous.
Coun. Lyle Seely said to forgive one bill means county council, to be fair, has to forgive everyone in the same boat. “It wouldn’t be right for us to write off half that bill. There’re lots of people struggling out there, it wouldn’t be fair,” said Seely.