Development and growth and struggles with funding were again the major issues facing the Town of Stettler and the County of Stettler in 2009.
(Jan. 7, 2009)
• Matilda Wipf is New Year’s baby for Stettler
Matilda Wipf was born as the New Year’s baby born Jan. 5 at Stettler Hospital and Care Centre to Daniel and Matilda Wipf of Castor Hutterite Colony.
• Ryder named to provincial board
Stettler Regional Board of Trade executive director Keith Ryder was appointed as one of 12 board members to the Alberta Rural Development Fund board, selected from among over 100 applications for two vacant seats to serve two years.
• Development drops in 2008
New development and building activity in the Town of Stettler and County of Stettler dropped in 2008 over 2007.
Building permits in the town totaled $15,140,858, down from $15,970,374 in 2007.
For the county, permits totaled $13,674,130 in 2008, down from $20,471,105 in 2007.
(Jan. 14, 2009)
• Town approves $.3 million capital budget
Developing and improving roads and sidewalks, downtown streetscape and expanding the fire hall top the list of projects for the Town of Stettler capital budget topping almost $4.4 million for 2009.
At its regular meeting Jan. 6, town council adopted the capital budget of $4,387,270.
This will be supported by general reserves of $920,170, other reserves of $829,495 and other funding of $2,637,605.
• Old A-frame could leave Stettler
Stettler’s old A-frame tourist information building at the junction of Highway 12 and Highway 56 could soon move out of the community.
At its regular meeting Jan. 6, Town of Stettler council heard a request from Tail Creek Snow Birds snowmobile club for obtaining the building that houses washrooms and would be relocated to their home base.
(Jan. 21, 2009)
County of Stettler presented its annual community service awards to Skip and Anita Mappin of Sullivan Lake, Rodney and Liz Hennel of Linda Hall, Chuck and Donna Leonard of Donalda, Bill Smillie of Big Valley, Scott Kruk of Erskine, Bryon Norman of Donalda, Dwain Gerlach, and Jean Jackson and Adrianne Shepherd of Botha.
(Jan. 28, 2009)
• Physician signs with Stettler
Dr. Martens Agwaze accepts a job offer in Stettler with David Thompson Health Region to practise at Stettler Medical Clinic.
Dr. Abrie du Plessis of South Africa, who also toured the Stettler area last fall, also expressed he is committed to serving in Stettler and expects to arrive within months.
• Government rejects funding request
Clearview School Division officials are disappointed that a request for more provincial funding for the new joint office with the Town of Stettler has been rejected.
At its regular monthly meeting in January, the board received a letter from the Minister of Education saying that the province would not contribute more than the
$1,855,000 originally promised back in the summer of 2006, even though construction costs have risen considerably since then.
The board’s share of the cost is now estimated to be $2,550,000.
(Feb. 4, 2009)
• Parents petition for new school gymnasium
A new modern and larger gymnasium for Stettler Middle School could become a higher priority for Clearview School Division just as parents are being urged by the school parent councils to write letters to the provincial government to plead for funding for a new larger gymnasium.
A new gymnasium is estimated at $4 million, which will help accommodate physical education classes and sports teams.
(Feb. 11, 2009)
• Stettler Sports Park receives $496.570
A grant of $496,570 from the Alberta Major Community Facilities Program was given to the new Stettler Sports Park with soccer pitches and baseball fields as Town of Stettler Mayor Jim Hunter accepted the cheque from Drumheller-Stettler MLA and Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden.
(Feb. 18, 2009)
• Dave Ellis resigns as Clearview trustee
Longtime public school trustee Dave Ellis of Stettler has resigned from Clearview School Division to pursue a new career.
After over 30 years as a lawyer, Ellis was recently appointed by the Government of Alberta as a part-time sitting justice of the peace, serving in Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka and Fort McMurray about eight or nine days a month.
(Feb. 25, 2009)
• Students squeezed out of small gymns
While students at Stettler Middle School and other schools on campus continue to get squeezed out of their small under-sized gymnasiums, school officials are committed to getting a new gymnasium sooner rather than later.
“Broken promises by the provincial government is what bothers us the most,” said Dave Garbutt, principal of the middle school that has an enrolment of 291 students from grades 6 to 8.
(March 4, 2009)
• Town of Stettler adopts new land-use bylaw
Town of Stettler adopted an updated land-use bylaw at its regular meeting Feb. 17 to meet new and growing needs of the community.
Now that this bylaw has been fully updated for the first time in 10 years, administration recommends that the land-use maps also be updated.
(March 11, 2009)
• Gertie Thieme honoured by Town of Stettler
Longtime local volunteer Gertie Thieme received the Stettler Community Recognition Award for her dedicated service to the community.
A special plaque honoring Thieme was placed on the honour wall at Stettler Recreation Centre.
(March 18, 2009)
• Over $40,000 raised for KidSport
About $40,000 was raised to support children and youth recreation during the sixth annual KidSport Stettler Gala dinner and auction March 14 at Stettler Community Hall.
Attendance was up about 30 per cent from last year’s record for the event that was previously held at the smaller Legion hall.
KidSport Stettler has been providing funds to low-income families with financial obstacles since fall 2003.
(March 25, 2009)
• Town of Stettler drafts sustainability plan
Promoting and beautifying downtown Stettler with a theme, adding a professional medical clinic-complex, reducing waste and water consumption and building a new seniors’ recreation center were some of the key priorities expressed at the round-table forum at Stettler Community Hall on March 18 as the Town of Stettler progresses to produce a sustainability plan.
(April 1, 2009)
• Annexation agreed amicably
Special documents for the Town of Stettler to apply to annex six quarter sections of land from the County of Stettler were signed March 30.
“We came to an agreement that makes sense and works for the whole community,” said Town of Stettler Mayor Jim Hunter.
“It’s the best deal we could get for the community,” said County of Stettler Reeve Earl Marshall.
Both town and county councils unanimously support the MOU, the mayor and reeve stated.
(April 8, 2009)
• Baker new president of Stettler Board of Trade
Jenece Baker has become the new president of Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development at its annual general meeting March 17.
Others elected to the executive were first vice-president Gail Peterson, second vice-president Wayne Tebbe, and Kelly Hicks who serves as past president.
Completing the board are directors Dave Hagen, Don Lynn, Edna Stuart, Henry Johnston and Lynda Campbell.
(April 15, 2009)
• Recycling curbside pick-up arrives in Stettler
Stettler residents will soon have to recycle their waste as the Town of Stettler launches its bi-weekly curbside/lane recycling collection starting the week of April 20.
The 18-gallon green bins feature the Town of Stettler logo and the Heartland Beautification Committee slogan “Keeping Stettler Clean and Green”.
(April 22, 2009)
• Best ever trade show draws record crowds
Celebrating 29 years, Stettler Trade Show was rated the best ever as record crowds converged on Stettler Recreation Centre last weekend.
Featuring some 100 exhibitors from throughout Alberta and western Canada, the show attracted a record high 5,300 people on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, up from 4,200 in 2008, said Gwenda Gravely, coordinator of the show.
(April 29, 2009)
• Downtown businesses reorganize
Determined to raise the profile of downtown Stettler, businesses have revived Merchants on Main Street with a focus to build and promote the commercial core.
“We all need to work together to make businesses better,” said Vivian Finlay who was elected president during the organizational meeting April 21.
“I hope we can all pull together.”
• Simons new Stettler school trustee
Peter Simons was elected in a byelection for Clearview School Division for the Stettler ward, narrowly edging Shannon Harvey 59-52, to fill a vacancy left by Dave Ellis who resigned in February when he became a court judge in Red Deer and Fort McMurray.
(May 6, 2009)
• Seed planted for community garden
A seed to establish a community garden for Stettler has been planted with two organizational meetings.
“Community gardens grow more than vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers, they also foster positive community, social and economic development,” says a statement released by the organizers.
(May 13, 2009)
•Stettler high school chosen for pilot project
William E. Hay High School in Stettler has been selected as one of only 16 high schools in Alberta to participate in a four-year pilot project “High School Flexibility Enhancement Project” aimed at enhancing the learning experience of students and better prepare them for adult life.
(May 20, 2009)
• Municipal development plan for county updated
An updated municipal development plan for the County of Stettler was introduced after county council gave first reading to a bylaw on May 13.
Desires to promote the rural and agricultural character, strengthen hamlets and steps to diversify the economy of the county are prime priorities of the plan, drafted from comments and surveys from residents and other stakeholders.
(May 27, 2009)
• Town of Stettler prioritizing projects sustainability plan
A long-term municipal sustainability plan for the Town of Stettler was presented to build the future of the community.
At its regular meeting May 19, town council reviewed the plan with priorities and steps to encourage a strong local economy, help build a complete community with local resources land and infrastructure and promote a healthy environment.
A walk-in medical clinic and improved healthcare services, creating more parks and pathways and green and environmentally-friendly policies, and improving communications were the top priorities expressed by residents in the survey and workshop.
(June 3, 2009)
• County awarded grant for water and roads
County of Stettler received funds for a system to distribute potable water ($9 million) and to upgrade a resource road east of town ($3.1 million) under the Canada – Alberta Building Canada Fund with one third funding each from municipal, provincial and federal governments.
(June 10, 2009)
• Shuckburghs celebrate centennial
Over 100 descendents of William and Dorothy Schuckburgh celebrated the centennial of their arrival and life in Stettler as five generations marked the occasion, including sons Rex Schuckburgh (96 years old) and Trevor Schuckburgh (86) and daughter Vivian Aldcorn (83) on the farm on Highway 12 about two kilometers west of Stettler.
(June 17, 2009)
• Relay for Life raises $175,000
Overwhelming support and $175,000 were raised at the first “Relay for Life” in Stettler on June 12 to help fight cancer with the Canadian Cancer Society.
A total of 49 teams and 502 participants, these figures far-surpassed the goal of 30 teams and $125,000.
Stettler recorded the most teams for a first-time event in Alberta and Northwest Territories.
• McClellan water line turned on
Taps were turned on to officially open a new regional water line from Stettler to Consort under the Shirley McClellan Regional Water Services Commission (SMRWSC).
Officials form the 16 participating municipalities in the 157-kilometre line system turned the wheels during a ceremony in Stettler on June 12.
Valued at $43 million, 90 per cent of the project was funded by the provincial government’s Water for Life Strategy while the balance of the costs are covered by participating municipalities.
This line is just the first phase of a much wider system that will eventually extend along Highway 21 in the northwest and Highway 12 to the east.
(June 24, 2009)
• Best show and shine ever
Stettler Car Club hosted its annual show and shine at Stettler Mall parking lot with over 80 vehicles, up from 40 to 60 in previous years. This is commendable, considering about nine other show and shine events were held the same day within a 90-minute drive of Stettler.