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Stettler town council introduces rec centre, water policies

Stettler town council addressed several subjects at their Tuesday, May 7 meeting.

Stettler town council addressed several subjects at their Tuesday, May 7 meeting. This included updating policies at the Recreation Centre, replacing parts for one of the town’s graders, and growing concerns for Spruce Drive repairs.

The manager of Recreation and Culture, Brad Robbins, addressed council about a new policy that is to enhance and clarify existing policies at the Stettler Recreation Centre (SRC). Robbins explained that although an official policy hasn’t been necessary often, there have been inconsistencies in applications of suspensions and expulsions of people who are behaving poorly, from the building. The policy is designed to give the staff clear directions on application, as well as allow for an appeals process if people don’t agree with the decision. The policy was instituted upon the passing of a motion by Coun. Gord Lawlor.

The town's director of operations, Melissa Robbins, also presented a new policy to council. The policy is to be applied when necessary during times of drought and applies to residents and businesses. The policy gives a framework for how the town will handle restrictions during dry times. The policy identifies three separate steps the town can take, depending on certain water level and availability concerns that may arise between May 1 and Oct. 1. The third step would be initiated upon directions of Alberta Environment after a set period of monitoring water levels.

Each step determines the steps that can be taken if users of the municipal water system are found to be wasting water. Steps one and two begin with a letter informing the resident or business of their infraction and are given seven days to resolve the matter. If no action has been taken, fines can start at $250 for a first offence and escalate from there, with water shutoff being the final response. Step three would mean that any violation of water use restrictions would result in immediately having their water supply discontinued.

Robbins explained how all municipal departments have procedures that they take at various steps in the process, ranging from suspension of washing units to flushing drains and sewers. Other steps include the fire department ceasing the use of water during training exercises, and the Rotary Spray park being shut down. All these steps would be reversed once water levels showed an increase. The policy was accepted with a carried motion by Coun. Cheryl Barros.

Robbins next addressed replacing the drawbar on the 2020 Caterpillar grader used by the town. The drawbar was recently bent during its operation. Efforts to adjust the drawbar so it could continue to function were sufficient during winter operations, however, as the grader will be required for more finely tuned grading during the spring and summer months, the drawbar is unable to be used appropriately. A new drawbar from Finning will cost $45,000. Robbins noted that a new tandem unit had been budgeted for $300,000 from the capital budget but was able to purchase one for $283,000. As well, funds are expected from the sale of the former unit. This gives extra funds available in the capital budget that could be applied to the drawbar purchase. The motion from Coun. Lawlor to accept the recommendation to proceed with the purchase was carried.

Communications Officer Lara VanLanduyt addressed council regarding the Steel Wheel Stampede this year. The main topic was the annual pancake breakfast hosted by both the town and county councils.

Due to scheduling, county councillors will be unable to attend as they will be at meetings. VanLanduyt noted that if the Town was to proceed with hosting the breakfast, they would need to find enough people to fill the gaps. Council discussed postponing the annual event, as well as cancelling it for the year. However, it was felt that the breakfast is a good opportunity for council to serve their community and the breakfast is increasingly popular. Coun. Lawlor motioned that council proceed with the breakfast as planned, which was carried.