County to consider new long-term home for offices, public-works yard

County of Stettler might consider a long-term plan for a new home to house its offices and public-works yard. Both are running out of room.

County of Stettler might consider a long-term plan for a new home to house its offices and public-works yard. Both are running out of room.

“This is part of our longterm study over the next five to 30 years,” Reeve Wayne Nixon said during the latest council meeting.

“We want to look at all the options and all the possibilities.”

Options to expand at the current site on 44 Avenue in the Town of Stettler, or to re-locate to another part of the town or in the county, are being considered by a committee of councillors Blake Chapman, Terry Schiffner and Greggory Jackson.

“We have a shop at capacity and an office at capacity,” said chief administrative officer Tim Fox. “We need to start planning now.

“What is the best economical way to move forward?”

Now located on 17.22 acres, the county yard has become utilized to a maximum and more space will be required as the county adds more staff and equipment, Fox said.

This issue has become a top priority for council in its strategic planning process.

“Most of the work would be done in-house,” Fox said. “However, I would like to include an upset cost of $15,000 for outside consultants to provide drawings, appraisals, and expertise to prepare the report.”

The report would provide the county with a review of the current situation and present property values, and projected future capital costs and analysis of the reasons for renovations or new construction of a county office or shop.

Since the office building was officially opened on Aug. 31, 1990, the neighbourhood has grown, with a new Stettler Sports Park added two years ago and a seniors’ support-living facility in progress just northwest of the site.

Last summer, the council chambers were upgraded with visual technology.

Council expects the study could take two years, and extend past the date of the next municipal elections in October 2013. If that’s the case, different councillors might serve on the special planning committee to determine the terms of reference.