Stettler County council highlights from Dec. 9th

The County of Stettler has approved $50,000 worth of funding for recreation special projects in 2021

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

The County of Stettler has approved $50,000 worth of funding for recreation special projects in 2021.

Projects include roof repairs to the Nevis Community Hall, repairs to the flooring of the Erskine IOOF Hall, mechanical upgrades to the Erskine Community Hall, lighting upgrades in the Botha Arena, kitchen upgrades to the Donalda Ag. Society, and a pavilion upgrade to the Stettler & District Ag. Society.

In total, nearly $103,000 worth of requests were made prior to the Oct. 31st application deadline, with the Regional Recreation Board making the final recommendation for the approval of the projects.

With tightening budgets, some councillors questioned whether it was a good idea to fund these projects; however, with the special project funding already in place it was determined to allow the projects to proceed.

“We set a budget a year ago, and I think we should stay with it,” said Coun. James Nibourg, in support of the funding.

“It’s not time to change the budget half-way through the game.”

As part of their annual budget planning, the County of Stettler council budgets $50,000 per year for these special projects, which is then spent in the following budget year.

“We tax in the previous year for the $50,000, then give it in the following year,” said Chief Administrative Officer Yvette Cassidy, explaining the process.

Bulk water rates

Bulk water rates at County of Stettler fill stations will be going up from $3.10 a cubic metre to $3.80 a cubic metre.

The Shirley McLellan Regional Water Regional Water Services Commission will be increasing their rates for all member municipalities from $2.60 per cubic metre to $2.65 per cubic metre.

The hike will increase the commission’s water revenue just over $20,000 per year, to go to further projects.

It was noted during the meeting that the Shirley McLellan Regional Water Services Commission is a ‘break-even’ commission.

2021 election

With the nomination period for the 2021 municipal elections opening in January, the County of Stettler is required to appoint a returning officer and a deputy.

In an effort to run the election at “arm’s length,” council has appointed Doreen Nixon and Tammy Walker as returning officer and deputy.

“This worked very well for us last time,” said CAO Cassidy.

Fire service and emergency management agreement notice

Stettler County council is servicing notice to its partner municipalities that it intends to re-negotiate its fire service and emergency management agreements.

“This is overdue,” said Coun. Ernie Gendre.

“We should have done this a long time ago.”

Under the current agreement, any change to these agreements has to be done by the month of March prior to the year the new agreement is set to take place.