Two delegations appeared before Stettler Town Council on Jan. 20, presenting their 2015 budgets for council’s approval.
The Heartland Youth Center appeared first, a delegation headed by Winnie Bissett and Pauline Christian. Bissett spoke about how the organization is faring, the programs it offers, and how its finances are holding up.
The major expenditure the HYC is facing this year is the replacement of two vans, which are used to transport the kids from activity to activity. One van, hailing from 1997, and the other from 2004, are aging and need to be replaced.
Rather than purchase two vans, HYC is going to purchase a bus. Having one vehicle to maintain will be less expensive and some of the safety concerns will be addressed by removing the vans from service.
In addition to grants from the government, support from the town and county, and its own reserves which they’ve been building up for years, the HYC intends to sell sponsorship packages to allow local community businesses to show their support on the sides of the bus.
Also appearing before council was the Stettler and District Handi-Bus Society, which presented its budget. Diane Ecklund and Judy McKnight explained that the service is seeing heavy use, and it will likely have to look at adjusting prices though this year they’ve abstained from doing so.
Ridership is up 36 per cent from 2013, and in 2014 the bus saw 7,280 rides given over 880 passengers.
After both presentations, council asked few questions, as the budgets had been clearly explained.
Before each delegation left, council unanimously voted in favour of supporting its share of the budgets, letting the two groups leave in good spirits.
A provincially mediated agreement between the town and county regarding recreational funding is just around the corner, it was heard, with another meeting to go where it’s expected the final details will be nailed down.
Both councils reached out to the province for a mediator to ensure the recreational funding agreement was made without causing any rifts.
Council next meets Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m.