The County of Stettler has pulled out of this year’s trade fair in April, citing the year’s busy calendar of engagement events as the reason.
Niki Thorsteinsson, director of communications, confirmed the rumoured withdrawal last week when inquired by the Independent, but did not give a reason for the withdrawal.
Councillor James Nibourg, reached by phone prior to the Tuesday, March 22 meeting at the county office, said he was not sure if the decision was 100 per cent made yet.
“We have had a discussion about pulling out of the trade show,” he confirmed. “It was our 60th anniversary this year, and we had that celebration. We’ve had seven town halls so far and plenty of engagement.”
He noted that the county also did a survey of its Buffalo Lake residents, and will be having further town hall meetings to discuss south shore matters, as well as the water hookup town hall meetings in Erskine.
“We haven’t been at the show every year,” he added. “Sometimes it’s every other year. It’s a lot of work and a lot of outlay for staff.”
Thorsteinsson did not have exact numbers for the cost of running the county’s booth, but estimated the cost was thought to be between $8,000-10,000.
“We’re just trying to respect our budget,” Nibourg said.
He noted that the county is not trying to hide from contentious issues, such as the county shop proposal or the petition calling for a plebiscite on the county’s borrowing bylaw to pay for the shop.
“That’s absolutely not it,” Nibourg said. “I would love people to come up to me and engage me in conversation about it.”