County designates $80,000 to support community groups

The County of Stettler awarded almost $80,000 last week to support various recreation and community projects and facilities.

The County of Stettler awarded almost $80,000 last week to support various recreation and community projects and facilities.

At its regular meeting last week, county council granted a total of $78,650.95 to seven groups, with $100,000 in funding available annually for special recreation projects.

“We have applications seeking funds for less than the budget, which is the first time this has happened since the program started seven years ago,” said Phil Holton, the county’s director of recreation.

Grants were awarded to:

Botha Community Centre — $20,000 for washroom upgrades and disabled access.

Big Valley Agricultural Society — $14,377.70 for repairs at Big Valley Arena, including the ice plant and Zamboni room.

Westwoods Agricultural Society — $13,787 for a playground.

Donalda Agricultural Society — $9,593 for repairs to Donalda Community Hall.

Stettler and District Agricultural Society — $8,777 for a custom roping system.

Linda Hall Society — $7,772.25 for carpet and bleachers at Linda Hall.

Pilot Knob community hall — $4,344 for repairs to the basement.

Request for tax penalty denied

Meanwhile, council denied a property owner’s request to cancel penalties for late payment of taxes totalling $318.57.

While the applicant noted it was because of a family emergency, county chief administrative officer Tim Fox said that if council cancelled the penalty for this request, it would set “a bad precedent” that could lead to other people seeking the same action, with poor reasons.

Council endorses development plan

Although a joint public hearing has been set for next May, council gave first reading to a proposed updated Buffalo Lake South Shore Inter-municipal Development Plan, a project in partnership with the Summer Village of Rochon Sands and the Summer Village of White Sands.

The public hearing has been set for May 4.

Since the review began about a year ago, the planning committee has set goals to:

— Allow carefully controlled additional development for residential, commercial and recreation purposes in predetermined areas to limit disturbances caused by the development footprint.

— Provide for additional growth within the plan area by requiring quality planning and diligent study for all future development prior to municipal approvals.

— Place an emphasis on retaining much of the plan area in its natural state, seeking to maintain or improve lade water quality to maintain and enhance wildlife habitat and to protect agricultural lands.

— Ensure a variety of year-round activities for residents and visitors can be pursued in an environmentally-sensitive and sustainable manner.

— Provide residents and visitors with a positive and enjoyable lake experience.