By Carson Ellis
For the Independent
The Town of Stettler council held its Sept. 19 meeting with delegations from both Kin clubs in Stettler as well as the new commanding officer of the Stettler RCMP detachment.
Stettler’s new RCMP Staff-Sgt. Cam Russell addressed council along with two of his constables; the meeting was a casual one, with the newly assigned Russell re-introducing himself to the councillors.
Russell had previously served at the Stettler detachment, so when the opportunity arose to return he says “It was a no-brainer.”
Staff-Sgt. Russell says that he is happy to be back, although he does regret the circumstances that created the opening.
Several councillors welcomed him back and noted they were glad to hear he was eager to return. Mayor Sean Nolls noted that the Sergeant was welcome to address council whenever he wished, and suggested bringing other officers so that they could get to know more of the detachment members.
Community Hall custodian contract
Manager of Recreation and Culture Brad Robbins addressed the first subject on the regular agenda.
Robbins explained that there was a request for a small, $200, increase as part of the Community Hall Custodian contract renewal. Robbins suggests that the recommended increase is fair for the current provider who has been doing the job since 2018.
Robbins pointed out that when the previous contractor left the job, the contract was at $1,900, and when the current custodian took the job, the contract started at $100 less. It was noted that the current custodians have been doing a wonderful job and that if they were to leave the position, it would very likely cost more to get a new one. The recommendation for the increase was motioned by Coun. Cheryl Barros.
Director of Operations Melissa Robbins then addressed council regarding two concrete jobs. The first was a tender for quotes for pavement work for the new Okoppe Way project located on Main Street. She noted that tenders had been sent out but due to the concrete season drawing to a close, it failed to draw any results. She explained that the tender would have to be pulled for this year, and sent out again in 2024.
Robbins then addressed the issue of pavement being needed for a portion of the walkway near the Viking Playground on the east side of town. She explains that Horseshoe Paving is in the area, and is able to complete the work at a cost of $40,000. She notes that the town has done work with the company before and they have established themselves as a capable contractor. The motion to proceed with both items was made by Coun. Kurt Baker.
Brad Robbins introduced members of both Kinsmen and Kinettes before letting Kinsmen member Kirk Blake address council.
The two clubs are working together to revitalize the playground located at the corner of 60 Street and 50-a Avenue. The two have been planning for over a year to bring new life to the sparse, and outdated play area. Blake explains that the project has already received a great response, not only from the community but from those living near the dated playground as well.
A major feature of the new design is that is designed for accessibility. Several pieces of play equipment will be wheelchair-accessible and pathways in the play area will be made for those with limited mobility. He noted that although this affected the cost, it would make the play area a major draw in the community and, hopefully, for those who come to visit or are looking for such a facility. He notes that inflation has also notably affected the cost.
Blake affirmed that both clubs are committed to the project which has a $308,000 price tag to it.
To raise funds, the two clubs are hosting their first-ever Oktober Fest set to take place on October 14 at the Stettler Agriplex.
Blake says that they are also planning an ‘aggressive’ fundraising campaign with local businesses. Blake notes that although Kin Canada is unable to do any donation matching, the provincial Kin body does have a foundation that the club can use to issue tax receipts.
The Clubs are working towards several grants and other venues of fundraising, however, they needed to secure funds so that the contractor they have been working with would commit to the project. Several council members voiced their support for the project and Mayor Nolls commended the two clubs for the many things they have done over the years for the community.
A recommendation had been made by administration to commit $120,000 towards the project. The recommendation was motioned by Coun. Travis Randell.