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Carstairs council prioritizes buying local

“We are trying to do our best for the people who are trying so hard to stay in business,” says Town of Carstairs mayor

CARSTAIRS - In support of the local economy, Town of Carstairs council has approved an updated policy which calls for the municipality to favour the purchase of goods and services in town, under certain guidelines and conditions.

During the Jan. 24 council meeting, councillors approved Local Buying Policy 12-022-22. Replacing the former Policy 1550-2004, the new policy sets out guidelines for municipal purchases in town. 

Mayor Lance Colby says supporting the local business community remains a priority for this council.

“We are trying to do our best for the people who are trying so hard to stay in business,” Colby told the Albertan. “That’s our main goal since it’s been a rough two years for everyone, including the business community. What we can purchase locally we will.”

The policy states, in part, that, “Whereas the council of the Town of Carstairs feels that it is critical to support local merchants and local suppliers of goods and services, the Town of Carstairs will make every effort to buy locally whenever it is economical to do so.”

Guidelines of the policy include that, “Employees are encouraged, whenever possible, to buy goods and services from businesses within the Town of Carstairs” and “local goods and services bids to the town will be given preference if they are within 10 per cent of an out-of-town quote.”

During the recent council meeting, councillors also approved an updated gifts and gratuities policy, which includes a provision that no member of council or town employee shall “accept a monetary or other payment for performance of any service connected to civic government.”

Replacing the former 2004 policy, the Gift and Gratuities Policy No. 12-018-22 sets out guidelines when it comes to accepting or declining gifts, which are defined in the policy as being a token, favour, artifact or service.

Regarding purchasing and discounts for personal use, the policy states, “Members of council or employees shall not use the name of the Town of Carstairs to obtain discounts for privately purchased goods and services other than discounts offered to an employee of any municipality” and “goods and service shall not be purchased by members of council or employees through the town’s purchasing system or through payroll reduction unless approved by council.”

Regarding acceptance of gifts or favours, the policy states that, “gifts to the town will be accepted by the mayor or designate on behalf of the citizenry” and “all gifts received  exceeding a value of $50 shall be reported to the director of corporate and legislative services.

“Where a member of council or employee receives a gift of a value of more than $100 or a gift that is considered inappropriate by the mayor, deputy mayor, chief administrative officer or director of corporate and legislative services shall be reported to the council and council shall determine its disposition.”

Regarding gifts from the town, the policy states that, “The presentation of gifts to any individual or organization is permitted under the following circumstances: a normal exchange of hospitality among persons doing business” and “presentation of gifts to citizens of merit, distinguished visitors, individuals or organizations wen approved by the mayor or by resolution of council.”

Councillors approved both new policies without debate during the Jan. 24 council meeting. Mayor Lance Colby did not attend the meeting, which was chaired by deputy mayor Dean Allan.