County in hunt for new PR voice

Mired in controversy in recent weeks, County of Stettler has heard good news at the main office.

Mired in controversy in recent weeks, County of Stettler has heard good news at the main office.

“Our director of communications is expecting twins,” Reeve Wayne Nixon said Tuesday when asked about a job posting last week for a temporary position.

“This is very positive news for the county.”

Shawna Benson will soon take a maternity leave, as the position will be filled for 16 months.

Nixon said Benson’s planned departure has nothing to do with recent complaints from the Wildrose party about her alleged use of county email to back the PC party in the last provincial election.

Pheasantback seeks reprieve from county

After buying Pheasantback Golf Course this summer, the new owner has asked County of Stettler to cancel taxes of $24,000 for this year.

At its monthly meeting in October, county council heard a request from Gary Grant, who bought the course north of Stettler in late July after it went into receivership in September 2012.

“We have postponed any decision until after the assessment review,” Reeve Wayne Nixon said after the meeting.

With taxes at $24,441.86, Grant noted that he has also filed an appeal for the property assessment.

“I ask council to cancel the taxes for this year,” Grant said, noting that he is seeking to get the property assessed down to $500,000.

He further asked council to give golf courses a tax break, because the Stettler Golf and Country Club annually pays just under $300 taxes per year, though council has expressed not to give special treatment to golf courses.

With general manager Ken Graham as business partner, Grant plans to add a park for recreational vehicles and a condominium complex in the next few years that he said would add to the tax base.