Original Published on Aug 18, 2022 at 17:00

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Bashaw business owner is pondering the addition of video lottery terminals (VLTs) to his restaurant and asked town council to give him a letter of support. The request was made at the Aug. 8 regular meeting of council.

Town Chief Administrative officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller requested Carlos Siguenza, owner/operator of The Noble Fox, a restaurant located on 50th street in Bashaw, be added to the agenda as a delegation, who wanted to talk to council about two separate issues, an encroachment and video lottery terminals (VLTs, see related story).

Councillors also heard the request from Siguenza for a letter of support for VLTs at his business. Siguenza stated he had been talking to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) about adding VLTs to his business and required a letter of support from the Town of Bashaw as part of the approval process.

Siguenza stated he was hoping to have all approvals in place by December of this year but has been waiting for this letter of support from the town; Siguenza stated the CAO said she would send a letter but never did.

McDonald pointed out a letter from the Town of Bashaw which was sent to Siguenza about this issue. “The procedure is all right there,” said the mayor. 

During discussion it was noted VLTs are allowed in certain commercial zones, which may also involve a development permit application and request for an amendment under the land use bylaw (LUB).

It was mentioned there is another nearby business that has VLTs to which CAO Fuller responded that business had those VLTs approved under a previous LUB. 

Fuller also confirmed she spoke to Siguenza about VLTs at his business and gave him a document listing the town requirements for that request.

Coun. Bryan Gust stated if the AGLC already knows there are VLTs in Bashaw, no such letter of support should be required.

Fuller stated that, judging by what happened with the fence encroachment, she hesitated to give Siguenza a “letter of support” because Siguenza might claim it’s a letter approving VLTs at his business.

Siguenza stated he’s been at council meetings in other communities before and the CAOs there didn’t speak unless the mayor told them to.

Coun. Kyle McIntosh stated he read the letter that was sent to Siguenza regarding development permits and re-zoning and felt the letter meets Siguenza’s request and should address the AGLC’s needs. 

“So you’ve got the letter you’re asking for already,” said McIntosh.

A third issue was mentioned at this point, but Mayor McDonald noted the “third complaint” would have to be in writing and would be discussed in closed session regardless.

McDonald further recommended that all parties put everything in writing regarding these issues from this point forward.

This item reprinted with permission from East Central Alberta Review, Coronation, Alberta