County of Stettler Briefs

Stettler County awarded Stantec Engineering a contract to assess what upgrades the public workshop requires.

Stettler County awarded Stantec Engineering a contract to assess what upgrades the public workshop requires.

On Dec. 6, the county received four proposals ranging from $12,600 to $24,000, with Stantec bidding $13,700. The money will come out of the 2014 operating budget.

Coun. Joe Gendre was opposed to having the report done.

“I’m opposed to putting any more money into this,” he said at the regular meeting last Wednesday.

But Coun. Greggory Jackson, who made the motion to award the contract to Stantec, disagreed.

“I don’t want to throw good money after bad,” he said, adding that the county needs a plan to move forward.

“We need a professional’s viewpoint on actually what is wrong.”

Coun. Les Stulberg agreed.

“It’s good information for our ratepayers.”

Coun. James Nibourg and Gendre voted against the motion.

Interim budget

County council adopted its interim operating budget for 2014, with about $25.2 million in revenues compared with $25.4 million in 2013.

Expenditures are expected to be about $31.1 million in 2014, with a shortfall of about $5.9 million.

Over the coming weeks, the budget will be modified and presented again at county council’s Jan. 15 meeting.

Cost-of-living expense

A cost of living increase of two per cent to all staff was unanimously approved by county council.

Regional waterline

Pat Gorcak, chairperson of the Sherley McClellan Regional Water Services Commission (SMRWSC), gave council an update.

“We got to Big Valley,” he said. “We had some issues there, but we did manage to get it to work. We haven’t heard any concerns since we got it there.”

SMRWSC is now working on Donalda.

“Three quarters of the pipe is in the ground.”

Consort and Coronation have “very poor quality of water,” so the line is well-received in those communities, Gorcak said.

“It’s crucial everyone has good water.”

SMRWSC hopes to be done by 2020, but that might be a bit optimistic, said Gorcak, adding that financing the project is a problem.

“The greatest challenge is government funding,” he said, because the provincial government isn’t as receptive to summer villages such as Rochon Sands and White Sands.

“I think we have a pretty good plan.”

Partnering with the Camrose County could also be a challenge, he said.

When the line is complete, it should be good for 75-plus years, said Gorcak.

 

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