An interim operating budget of just over $27 million for 2010 for the County of Stettler has been adopted at its recent regular meeting.
The first draft of the final budget will be presented at the regular meeting of council in February.
Upgrades for Secondary Highway 601
Councillor Wayne Nixon was supported by council when he suggested that the county take steps to improve Secondary Highway 601 inside the county in partnership with Alberta Transportation.and Minister Luke Ouellette.
“It’s not a very nice road to drive on,” said Nixon, who represents the Donalda and Red Willow area, and was approached by several residents of the area concerned about the poor condition of the highway that stretches about 13 miles inside the county.
Council agreed to discuss a plan for the road over the next few years and draft a proposal to the transportation minister.
Although the secondary highway is in provincial government jurisdiction, Nixon said the transportation minister is willing to work in partnership with the county.
Nixon said he also received support from local Drumheller-Stettler MLA and Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden.
“If we can come up with a solution, with cost-sharing, he said he would support the county proposal and push the project with Minister Ouellette,” said Nixon.
Council adopted bylaw 1429-09 to borrow up to a total of $3 million – if necessary – which includes the customary amount of $ 1 million until taxes are collected with an additional $2 million to fund the county’s portion of funds to support a grant under the Building Canada Program rural water strategy.
Council granted a funding request of $1,000 for Gadsby Orange Circle Cemetery, which aligns with the county policy to fund $1,000 for each of the 12 cemeteries in the county.
Aggregate levy bylaw defeated
Set for second reading, council defeated an aggregate levy bylaw to impose levies to all sand and gravel businesses after several operators expressed deep concern and opposition to the levies.
Water servicing costing
Council approved a recommendation from chief administrative officer Tim Fox that water servicing costing be reflected in user fees for residents wishing for more than one gallon per minute.
His recommendation was for every one gallon per minute requested a charge of $10,000 would be implemented with every additional gallon per minute being charged at $10,000 until the level of five gallons per minute. Any requests for over five gallons per minute would be brought forward to council for its consideration.
Council writes off accounts
Council approved a recommendation from staff to write off unpaid accounts receivable that total $4,378.69.
“We set up a budget for write-offs in 2009 of $5,000,” said Fox.
Individually, accounts included amounts of $1,175, $1,165.55, $912.57, $821.89, $258.93 and $44.75.