The County of Stettler is going back to the drawing board, at least where it comes to capital asset procurement.
During the March 8 council meeting, a 2023 capital budget item having procurement issues was presented.
One budget item for 2023 was $600,000 for a new grader; however, with supply chain snarls and inflation creating escalated costs the three tenders coming back to the county were each significantly higher than the budgeted amount.
The grader tender follows a tendering process for other new County of Stettler fleet vehicles, in this case new pick up trucks, for which the county didn’t receive a single submission.
According to Joe McCulloch, the county’s director of operations, municipalities are “no longer the top of the food chain for vehicles.”
“It’s definitely getting harder for us to get vehicles,” said McCulloch, during the council meeting.
Discussion was had around whether the county could go down in size for the next grader purchases, though no real consensus was reached. After some discussion, it was decided to bring the matter to the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) meeting held later in March, and possibly re-tender the grader later.
Stettler Regional Waste Management Authority
The Stettler Regional Waste Management Authority (SWMA) is set for at least the next century, according to county chief administrative officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy.
Recently, SWMA had the opportunity to purchase a quarter-section of land directly adjacent to its existing landfill which will allow for future expansion.
As SWMA an entity under the county, and unable to hold land itself, the County of Stettler will be purchasing the land and holding it in trust for the waste authority.
While the county will be purchasing the land, the funds will come from SWMA reserves then transferred back to the county.
The acquisition will come at a cost to ratepayers. The transfer will result in an increase of $1.50 per-capita to the SWMA per-capita rate, with the plan to pay back the full amount of the purchase over 30 years.