A County of Stettler ratepayer in Erskine is going to be paying significantly more for a water connection than he was hoping for, based on a council decision stemming from the July 13 meeting.
The ratepayer, whose identifying information was redacted in the council agenda package, purchased the Erskine home in 2020 and wrote council requesting a reduced water connection fee as they have a young family and the water well which fed the home has become contaminated with minerals and arsenic.
In 2018, when the county’s water system was being developed in the area, Erskine residents were offered to connect to the line for a fee of $350, which is what the ratepayer was hoping he would be able to get approved with his letter.
Since that initial hook-up incentive finished in 2018, the cost for hamlet residents to connect to a county water line is $5,969, payable, with interest, over a five-year term. Chief administrative officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy noted that people have paid the full amount since the incentive ended.
“The hook-up incentive was trying to make it more cost efficient and offer savings at the time of construction,” said Coun. Just Stevens.
“Given that those efficiencies are no longer available to us, and we have had previous people pay the full amount, I am comfortable to not offer a reduced price, and spread payment over five years at the county interest rate.”
Coun. Stevens motion was carried.
Stettler Trade Show
County of Stettler council has opted to not book a booth for the 2023 Stettler Trade Show.
Council received a request for decision to book a booth at early-bird pricing from communications director Niki Thorsteinsson.
Coun. Ernie Gendre was in favour of getting the booth, however due to the $10,000 to $12,000 costs associated with the event the remainder of the councillors were more hesitant.
“We should be cautionary on this, $10 to 12,000 is a lot of money,” said Coun. James Nibourg.
While early-bird pricing for the event is only $840 for the table, the remainder of the costs to the county come from staff wages for set up and tear down, per diems for councillors attending the event, booth decoration rentals, promotional items and other expenses.
“I think every second year is more appropriate,” said Coun. Les Stulberg. “Maybe in off-years do town hall meetings.”
Coun. Nibourg made the motion to deny the request to attend the 2023 Stettler Trade Show, and instead have administration look at setting up town-hall-type engagement sessions around the county instead.
Buffalo View Estates Marina
The Rochon Sands Heights Marina is one step closer to fruition.
Council reviewed a draft lease from the Rochon Sands Heights Marina Association and finding no issue with it, conditionally approved it at the July 13 meeting, pending two weeks of public consultation.
“We looked at everything we thought would be of public concern, and they look like they addressed everything,” said Thorsteinsson.
Due to the marina being a community driven initiative, council was initially going to just approve the lease agreement, however CAO Cassidy commented that though the immediate area around the proposed marina was heavily consulted, council was responsible to all the nearly 6,000 ratepayers in the county.
“I think we have an obligation to all our ratepayers,” said Cassidy.
Coun. Stevens motioned to put the lease agreement for public consultation ending July 22, at which point, barring objections, the lease would be approved so construction work could begin.