The Dec. 6 Stettler town council meeting was all about delegations, with three presenting.
Three Stettler groups which are supported by the Town of Stettler through the annual town budget were invited to come in and present their budgets for the upcoming year.
First to present were Shelly Walker and Cindy MacDonell with Stettler Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).
Walker reported that over the past year, Stettler FCSS has been working on creating new partnerships in the community as well as bringing a variety of new programs forward, such as a community resource fair and a recent senior’s empowerment day.
“There’s a lot of our partnerships that we do, people don’t know,” said Walker.
According to Walker, the budget for FCSS is remaining the same as in 2022, and the years prior to that.
“Our budget has not changed,” said Walker.
“It has stayed the same since 2015. It has been a huge struggle the last few years to make these funds work where they need to.”
The total budget for FCSS in 2023 will be just under $474,500, with the town contributing just over $39,000, or 20 per cent, of the overall budget.
“I really commend you guys for what you do,” said Mayor Sean Nolls.
“You guys are such an enormous part of the community. Without you, Stettler’s not the same place.”
In a motion by Coun. Travis Randell, council approved continuing funding for FCSS into 2023.
Stettler Public Library
The second group to present their budget was Rhonda O’Neil and Jane Skocdopole with the Stettler Public Library.
According to O’Neil, 2022 was more “normal” at the Stettler library, with the facility running 434 in-person programs with 4,509 total participants.
While pandemic-era restriction removal was overall a benefit to the library, with more people traveling and taking part in other activities the overall participation in the summer reading program was noted to be lower than 2021 levels, according to O’Neil.
Thanks to a variety of grants, the library was able to bring new programs to the community, such as the Minds in Motion program, which just concluded its fall session.
While costs have been trimmed where possible, the Stettler Public Library budget for 2023 does see a subtle increase thanks to cost of living adjustments for staff and increasing insurance costs.
Overall, the budget for 2023 is planned to sit just under $505,000, up 0.6 per cent from 2022 levels.
The Town of Stettler’s contribution to the 2023 budget would be around $251,750, and increase of less than $1,000 from the 2022 contribution.
“I’m really impressed with the innovation of the library,” said Coun. Wayne Smith.
“You’re doing a fantastic job.”
In a motion by Coun. Gord Lawlor, council agreed to fund the Stettler Public Library at the new level.
Stettler Regional Board of Trade
The final group of three delegations to present were Byron Geddes and Donna Morris from the Stettler Regional Board of Trade (BOT).
“2022 has been a year of hope and cautious energy,” said Morris.
“We considered all the events a huge success.”
Events hosted by the BOT included a pair of awards galas — 2021 and 2022 — Alberta Culture Days, Think Local, Shop Stettler, and others.
According to the pair, a couple of new events will be taking place in 2023. First, a home show will be held in Stettler Feb. 3 and 4, then over the family day weekend will be an ice-fishing derby.
For 2023, the BOT is anticipating $141,300 in revenue against $555,087 in expenses.
Funding is come from the business tax and business licence fees and general Town of Stettler tax revenue for a total contribution of $413,787.
Due to the 2023 budget representing a $40,000 increase from the $372,776 paid in 2022, Lawlor motioned to move further discussion of the BOT budget to the budget discussion on Dec. 13, which was carried.