By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Independent
The County of Stettler is replacing another gravel truck.
The unplanned expenditure is due to an incident at the County of Stettler yard in March where a truck burnt to the ground.
Insurance will pay for just under half of the nearly $210,000 purchase price for the new unit, a 2019 Freightliner that will be nearly identical to a unit previously authorized by the County of Stettler council.
“We just went through a tendering process for a truck that we were adding to the fleet anyways,” said Rick Green, the County of Stettler’s director of operations.
The new unit will be purchased from New West Freightliner in Red Deer, at a cost of around $2,700 more than the previously authorized truck, due to an increase in steel prices for the gravel box.
“It’s the same truck, for the same dollars, with a price difference from the box,” said Green.
In a motion made by Coun. Dave Grover, council authorized the purchase of the truck to be paid for with insurance and expenditure from reserves. The truck which burnt will be taken by the insurance for salvage.
The County of Stettler has received a clean audit for the 16th year in a row.
Council was made aware of the audit report during their April 14th council meeting, where an associate from Gitzel & Company presented the 2020 report. Coun. James Nibourg moved the report, commenting on the hard work and dedication of the County staff to continue with the reports.
“Thanks very much to Yvette (Cassidy) and staff,” said Nibourg.
“This is a phenomenal job.”
In a separate motion, Coun. Les Stulberg motioned to reappoint Gitzel & Company to conduct the 2021 audit.
Request for penalty forgiveness
A County of Stettler ratepayer has submitted a request to council asking for forgiveness of tax penalties applied to their account.
According to County of Stettler tax and assessment clerk Sharon Larsen, the property at issue has had an outstanding balance since 2018, but the owner has paid the tax-levy amount excluding the penalty.
“(Payment) always goes to oldest invoice,” said Larsen.
“It’s applied to the arrears first. This property is on tax notification. It could go to sale this year.”
There is currently just over $3,000 in arrears sitting on the account. Administration’s recommendation was upholding the full amount of the tax arrears.
Coun. Ernie Gendre made a motion to forgive 50 per cent of the outstanding taxes, to show compassion to the ratepayer, while still holding them somewhat accountable.
Coun. Cheri Neitz also voted in favour of the motion; however, the motion was defeated with the rest of council voting against, upholding the full tax amount.