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ATCO to take possession of Stettler streetlights

30 Street lights to be replaced, turned over to ATCO Electric
Stettler town hall. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

By Carson Ellis

For the Stettler Independent

Town of Stettler held its council meeting Aug. 1; a rather light agenda included contract renewals and streetlight replacements.

CAO Switenky addressed council regarding the replacement of 30 street lights based on ATCO Electric’s assessment program. The replacement of the bases, or davits, of the identified lights will cost around $190,000. ATCO Electric will be putting forward around $83,000 towards the replacement cost, leaving the town with the remaining $107,000.

The Streetlight Replacement Reserve from 2022 funds of just under $98,000 will be applied to the cost. The replacement of the streetlights is being added to the 2023 budget and the remaining required funds will come from there.

Under the franchise agreement the town currently has with ATCO Electric, once the 30 streetlights are repaired and replaced as necessary, they will then be turned over to ATCO and will no longer be town property. ATCO will then pay all future repair and replacement costs on the lamps. Several councillors asked for clarification on the transfer of streetlamp possession. Administration has been in talks with ATCO on the subject, but ATCO is holding firm on the agreement specifying the transfer of ownership.

Contract Renewal

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Greg Switenky recommended to council that the town renew its contract with Municipal Property Consultants as the contract assessor for the town. The new term would be for five years and a continued working relationship with the company would ensure continuity as they have held the position for several years without issue. Coun. Wayne Smith motioned to accept the recommendation, which was carried.

Tax Sale

Council reviewed the status of properties in tax arrears identified by administration which are slated to be sold by the town to recoup the money owed. Switenky noted that in previous years administration had been able to reach repayment agreements with the owners of previously identified properties, and the sales did not need to proceed. However, a date for the sale had to be set, despite the town still working to make other arrangements with the landowners; the proposed date of Nov. 28 was approved with a carried motion by Coun. Travis Randell.

Due to regulations, a second motion was required to set the tax sale for mobile home properties. The CAO’s office recommended Nov. 28 for the mobile home sale as well. Coun. Smith’s motion to accept the recommended date was carried.

Nurse Practioner Funding

Correspondence to council has been received by the physicians at the Stettler Medical Clinic. The clinic had previously made space for Jody Thomas, a Nurse Practitioner (NP). Thomas was brought here by the Primary Care Network (PCN). Although Thomas works in a space in the clinic, she operates as an independent practitioner.

The clinic physicians are currently covering the cost of her office which is $3,000/month including utilities, staff, administration, and computer programs. The physicians have reached out to the Town and the County municipalities as well as the Stettler Health Services Foundation, requesting support in covering the monthly costs. It is noted that Thomas provides a valuable service to many people in the district.

Council tried to ascertain more information on the current arrangement, and if it would be possible for Thomas to operate in an AHS building or other arrangements. There was no information provided at the time, but it was agreed they would inquire before making a decision. Coun. Randell motioned to accept the letter as information, which carried.