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Delegations and budgets dominate latest Stettler council meeting


By Carson Ellis

For the Stettler Independent

Town council heard from two delegations and discussed tenders for a new unit for the Fire Department, as well as the boiler system at the water treatment facility during the Feb. 6 meeting.

The executive director for the Stettler Adult Learning Centre, Heather Siebel, addressed council first. She discussed the Centre and its programs, as well as plans for the future.

Following Siebel. chief administrative officer Leann Graham addressed council with a summary of the Capital Budget. Council had gone over it in detail earlier at the Capital budget meeting and it was presented to council for approval. The budget carried with a motion from Coun. Gord Lawlor.

Mark Dennis of the Stettler Fire Department addressed council regarding the replacement of his department Suburban.

An allotment of $106,000 before GST was set in the capital budget for a new vehicle. Western GMC in Edmonton came in at $105,000 before GST. The second bid was over the capital budget set for the item. A motion by Coun. Wayne Smith to approve the purchase recommended by administration was carried.

Development Officer Angela Stormoen presented the tender results for the proposed 2024 Housing Assessment. Of the four bids to assess the town, only BASSA Social Innovations met 100 per cent of the formula used to review the bidding process, and the contract price is within the allotted amount in the budget. The company was highly recommended by other communities including, Westlock.

Administration recommended council award BASSA Social Innovations with the contract. A brief conversation on the subject was held, but no concerns arose. The recommendation was then approved with a carried motion from Coun. Cheryl Barros.

Citizens Forum

A delegation of community members presented their concerns regarding ATCO’s recent presentation on their proposed new metering program. Concerns included health issues, as well as the lack of advertisement and limited presentation time.

The delegation’s first concern was that the meeting only ran for one hour and took place between 5:30 and 6:30p.m. They feel this was an inopportune time for a public presentation and seriously limited the amount of people who were able to attend.

They also feel that it was not advertised very well, stating although there was an ad in the paper other avenues such as social media should have been used. When asked by Jody Stewart, who was part of the delegation, if they planned to hold other meetings about the new metering system, the ATCO representatives did not seem interested in making the trip again.

The delegation explained they did not want to complain, but instead were hoping that the town might consider reaching out to ATCO and possibly persuade them to host another forum at a later date. Hopefully one at a better time, and possibly longer so more people can attend.

Once the delegation was finished, council discussed the subject and agreed to discuss it at a meeting of the whole before deciding on their course of action.

Director of Operations Melissa Robbins addressed council regarding a broken tube in the Water Treatment facility’s boiler system. She explained that the boiler system heats the entire facility and that replacing a broken boiler was a priority situation.

Robbins explained that the current boiler is a 2 million BTU unit, but that nobody does single boiler systems anymore. Administration did have a small repair reserve for such a situation, which sat at just over $171,000. Requests for proposals were sent out, three were local companies while a third was in Red Deer for comparison. Action Plumbing and Keith’s Refrigeration quotes were for similar systems on the same footprint while Burmac Mechanical was for an all-new build including ducting and plumbing.

Robbins recommended the quote submitted from Action Plumbing for $95,000, which will require another $2,000 for electrical work from a subcontractor. There is also a need to bring in a rental boiler while the old one is being pulled out. A quote for a 28-day rental of $11,000 was included, but there may not be a need to rent for the full 28 days.

Coun. Lawlor commended the previous council and administration for having the foresight to establish a reserve fund for problems like this.

Allowing administration to focus on fixing the problem and not spending time trying to figure out where the funding is coming from. Coun. Lawlor’s motion to accept Director Robbins’ recommendation was carried.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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