By Trevor Busch
A Taber resident is in receipt of a minor windfall after turning in a quantity of cash recovered in the community to the Taber Police Service.
According to police, on Sept. 29, 2022 Ashley Timm, an employee of Clearview Lodge, was at work performing her duties in the process of taking out some garbage when she discovered an envelope on the ground beside the BFI garbage bin which contained a quantity of cash. After consulting with her manager, Timm turned the money in to the TPS in the event its owner attended to report their loss.
Under Sections 610-11 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), lost or unclaimed property must be retained for at least 30 days, and if it is not claimed within that time period, it becomes the property of the municipality. TPS policy states that found property be held for 90 days unless the owner is located.
An investigation was completed by the TPS with no owner of the property being identified and as per policy more than 90 days had passed with no claimant coming forward. The property was turned over to the Town of Taber.
In a letter addressed to CAO Derrin Thibault which was included as part of town council’s Feb. 27 meeting agenda, Cst. Matt Orme detailed some of the circumstances that led to Timm being recognized.
“As of December 29, 2022 after our 90-day hold period, no one attended to claim their money. According to our policy, the money must be turned over to the Town of Taber. As you are aware, Ms. Timm wants the found funds and has retained a lawyer regarding the matter. I believe we have an opportunity to show Ms. Timm that doing the right thing has rewards.”
In the request for decision, administration was supportive of the funds being returned to the individual that turned them in.
“The Town of Taber has the opportunity to recognize a young member of our community that her honesty has been, and will always be, appreciated by her local government and the Taber Police Service.”
Orme’s letter echoed this sentiment on the part of the municipality.
“Ms. Timm could have simply held onto the funds without reporting it to the Taber Police Service. Instead, she demonstrated an ethical and moral choice to turn over the funds to the Taber Police. As doing so, I believe that Ms. Timm should be rewarded with the funds.”
Following discussion, town council voted unanimously to thank Timm for her honesty and integrity in turning in the found funds, and released the funds into her possession.
The amount of recovered cash was redacted in the documents in council’s Feb. 27 agenda, but in drafting the motion Coun. Carly Firth indicated an amount of $5,000 would be turned over to Timm.
Mayor Andrew Prokop formally presented Timm with a cheque for the recovered funds.
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