By Kevin J. Sabo For the Independent
Stettler council has approved a 5-year contract extension with the City of Red Deer to continue providing dispatch services to first-responders in the region.
The existing contract finished on Dec. 31, 2019, and Red Deer has continued providing the service until council decided on the new agreement.
“We are fortunate that we have a very good neighbour in the City of Red Deer in the course of a regional 911 service,” said CAO Greg Switenky. “Fire-chief Mark (Dennis) brings the recommendation to this table to re-sign a new agreement for an additional 5 years.”
The previous contract Stettler held with the City of Red Deer for 911 dispatch saw a per capita charge of $2.05 in 2014, rising 4 per cent per year until the contract expired at $2.39 per capita. The new agreement before council during the Feb. 5 council meeting would see a $2.47 per capita start, back-dated to Jan. 1 to pick up from the expired contract, rising 3.5 per cent per year through Dec. 31, 2023 ending at a rate of $2.84.
The Town of Stettler is not in the contract agreement alone. With the 911 service provided by Red Deer covering all the communities within the region, and not just Stettler itself, the County of Stettler will pay nearly 50 per cent of the approximate $29,000 dispatch bill in 2019.
“The City of Red Deer provides a consistent, well trained group of 911 dispatchers,” said Dennis, in a memo to town administration. “Red Deer Dispatch services continue to meet our expectations for the region.”
Council moved to sign the new agreement on a motion presented by Coun. Scott Pfeiffer and was carried unanimously.
Other highlights of the Feb. 5 council meeting:
• During his report to council, CAO Switenky said that to date there have been “No significant water breaks so far this winter.”
• Due to the regional responsibility for emergency services, Council has reappointed County of Stettler Director of Protective Services and Emergency Management Lee Hardman as the town’s Director of Emergency Management. County Protective Services member Chad Jackson has been reappointed as Hardman’s deputy director, and newcomer Clint Sime, another County protective services member, has also been appointed as another Deputy Director of Emergency Management. Emergency management in the region is a shared responsibility through the town and the county via the Stettler Regional Emergency Management Agency.
• Tax arrears outstanding in Stettler are down about $2,500 from 2017, totalling about $133,000 as of Dec. 31,2018, or about 1.5 per cent of all total taxes.
• Coun. Malcolm Fischer reported a large turn-out at the Hub for the Robert Raymond Cook presentation on Jan. 29.
• Assistant CAO Steve Gerlitz reported on a successful Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts. He also gave an anecdote of one of the visiting curling teams visiting an elderly curling fan at Points West in between draws, where they signed autographs and posed for photos with the 100 year old fan.
• Coun. Fischer updated council on the group attempting to get repairs done on the running track at Wm. E. Hay Secondary. He said that “proposals that have numbers attached to them” have been received and will be brought before council soon.