Stettler adopts budget with marginal increase

Property taxes in the Town of Stettler will go up marginally this year.

Property taxes in the Town of Stettler will go up marginally this year.

Town council adopted the $15,839,345 operating budget, with a tax increase, at its regular meeting last week.

“Stettler residents and visitors enjoy a high level of services and community facilities, while local property taxes have consistently remained below the provincial average to similar-sized municipalities,” said chief administrative officer Rob Stoutenberg.

Revenue for schools will be generated from a .73 increase for residential properties, while non-residential will decrease by 1.89 per cent, with much money collected from new growth.

“Taxes will depend on property assessment,” Stoutenberg said.

For the coming year, the town has committed to build funding for physician recruitment, policing, social services and recreation.

“Council continues to financially support the recruitment and relocation process for new physicians to our community, as well as strategic efforts to further along provincially planned upgrades to Stettler Hospital and Health Care Centre,” Stoutenberg said.

“More than one physician could be recruited from this.”

Funding will also be enhanced for Stettler RCMP to support local initiatives and peak periods.

Social agencies and programs will also be bolstered by funding from the town:

Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development — $208,830, up by $3,160.

Stettler regional landfill — $247,165, up by $13,445.

County of Stettler Housing Authority — $199,513, up by $20,957.

Stettler Public Library — $188,500, up by $6,020.

Family and Community Support Services — $163,690, same as in 2012.

Heartland Youth Centre — $40,000, up by $7,500.

Heartland Beautification Committee — $38,000, same as in 2012.

Physician recruitment — $30,000, up $7,500 from 2012.

Stettler Museum — $24,000, up by $2,000.

Stettler Handi-Bus Society — $20,000, up by $4,206.

Major upgrades to Stettler Recreation Centre budgeted at $1,996.390 tops the major works projects, with the library and parking expansion supported by a federal grant of $250.000 and a County of Stettler contribution of $140,000.

“These are pretty significant budget items,” Stoutenberg said.

Funding has also been earmarked for infrastructure upgrades for $3,410,000, with $2,600,000 from grants, and equipment and facilities for $1,226,280 with grants of $800,000.

For a new fire truck, the town has budgeted $100,000, in savings while saving $25,000 for a new skate park and budgeted $15,000 for arts and culture.

Requisitions add a huge chunk to taxes, with Alberta School Foundation Fund requesting $1,937,430 for public schools, separate schools for $117,270 and seniors’ lodges for $199,515.

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