Former councillor Malcolm Fischer was back in council chambers during council’s latest meeting on March 15.
Fischer was at council to discuss the 2022 edition of the “Coast to Coast Vintage Car Tour,” which for a first time is planning to make a stop in Stettler.
According to Fischer, the tour runs “every three to four years” and in the past up to 125 cars have taken part from all over Canada.
“That got so unwieldy,”said Fischer.
“Now it’s limited to 50 vehicles.”
Fischer told council that the plan is to have the tour arrive on Aug. 22 and remain two nights.
“This is a great (public relations) exercise for our town,” said Fischer.
“They talk a lot about where they’ve been.”
To date, the group has already arranged a train ride with Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions for the afternoon they arrive, and the grain elevator is potentially putting together a threshing demonstration as well.
Fischer noted that he was not requesting significant sponsorship from the town for the event, and he would not be seeking any business sponsorship.
“My motto is ‘come, and bring your wallets,’” said Fischer.
“The main goal is to impose on the town as little as possible.”
The requests of the town Fischer did make included having the town set up a reception of some sort for the tour on the first day they arrive to Stettler, possibly after the train tour, and also allow the use of the Community Hall Parking lot for a barbecue on the Tuesday night along with the use of the washroom facilities.
Coun. Gord Lawlor agreed that the potential benefits of the tour coming to the community were many and was agreeable to the requests, though was unwilling to rush into a decision.
“Fifty people from all over Canada, I think it’s very beneficial for us from a tourism standpoint,” said Lawlor.
Since there is still a significant amount of time before the event, Lawlor motioned to take the information provided to the Committee of the Whole where council could discuss matters further.
“That way we aren’t making a snap decision,” said Lawlor.
Mayor Sean Nolls agreed.
“We have a lot of time to plan,” said Nolls.
The motion was carried.
Once council has the opportunity to discuss the tour further the request will be brought back to a council meeting for a final decision to be made.
With the recently announced provincial budget, the Town of Stettler Administration has gone back to the budget documents to look at what exactly the impact will be.
Due to the province making cuts and combining a separate previous grant with the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding, the town is set to lose nearly $360,000 worth of funding per year.
That has necessitated in the town making some capital cuts.
“I’m glad we helped the province balance their budget,” said Nolls.
“We’re pulling from reserves when normally we wouldn’t be.”
Chief administrative officer Greg Switenky noted that another factor complicating matters is in 2022 the town didn’t have “three or four small projects” where, one could be postponed to balance the budget, but two big ones scheduled for the year that need to be completed.