county

County of Stettler administration presents 2021-2024 budget

Administration will bring the budget back in May to discuss the final revised tax rate

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

The County of Stettler administration presented their 2021-2024 budget to both council and the public during a special meeting held on Feb. 2nd

Beginning last spring, the process to build the budget took nearly a year and involved council, administration, and community involvement along the way.

The budget document released shows that the County is aiming for a zero per cent increase to ratepayer taxes, and accounts for increased costs, such as policing.

In total, the budget released accounts for $150,000 in increased spending, which administration is planning to raise via increased assessment values.

In order to maintain services, Public Works will be seeing a 16 per cent increase.

Focus will be on road maintenance, and bridge replacement.

Additionally, the presented budget allows for two graders to be replaced in 2021, as well as the replacement of two roadside mowers.

Fire department funding will see a nine per cent increase, with plans to switch the fire department to the Alberta First Responder Radio Communication System, as well as capital planning for a training tower at station one in Stettler and equipment replacement.

Once the fire department radios are switched over, it is expected to save the County money as the Province will assume responsibility for the maintenance of the radio system.

County of Stettler Protective Services will be seeing a budget increase as well.

The funding under this section of the proposed budget accounts for the increased policing costs, such as the policing requisition brought in by the Government of Alberta, as well as the introduction of e-ticket machines in the County of Stettler protective services vehicles.

The new machines are a requirement of the Province and will immediately input any tickets into the main Government of Alberta court database immediately, instead of the members providing a hand-written ticket, then entering the information manually back at the office.

Unfortunately, the County has also had to make some cuts in the upcoming budget.

County administration has cut from $4.6 million in 2020 to just over $2 million in 2021, around where it will stay until 2024.

One thing to note with the administration budget line item is that it is the line where bad debts to the County are noted, and part of the reason for the budget decrease comes from a forecast of few bad debts.

Other cuts will impact funding to the Battle River Research Group and the Seed Cleaning Plant, which will be losing a combined $6,500 in funding.

Due to changes in grant funding, the Stettler Library, which sees a significant portion of funding from the County, will be seeing a significant decrease.

The provincial grant, of which the Stettler Library receives a share of, is being cut by 25 per cent in 2021, and the funding will be cut to the library accordingly.

“We’ve tried to tighten up everywhere we can,” said County of Stettler Director of Corporate Services Christa Cornelssen during the presentation.

During the presentation, there was opportunity for members of the public to call in and ask questions about the budget, though no one called in.

With the budget presented to council, they will deliberate on its impact to the County and its residents, and potentially pass it as an interim budget during their Feb. 10th meeting. The budget will be finalized once assessment numbers are in in March or April, and once the Government of Alberta tables its budget, letting the municipalities know what they can expect for funding.

Administration will bring the budget back in May to discuss the final revised tax rate.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

senior
Stettler Handi-bus is putting out the call for more community support

Medical van for out of town trips hasn’t been running since Jan. 1st, 2021

Caitlin Kraft, the sister of Jeffery Kraft, stands third from the left, holding a sign calling for the maximum sentence for Campbell, who is charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Paul Cowley)
UPDATED: Judge again rejects submission of 7-year sentence for slaying of Kraft

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read