Stettler hall rates rise in effort to cut deficit

Rates to rent Stettler Community Hall have risen to help reduce the facility’s ever-increasing deficit.

Rates to rent Stettler Community Hall have risen to help reduce the facility’s ever-increasing deficit.

At its regular meeting last week, Town of Stettler council increased rental fees for the first time since 2004 to help cut the $54,000 operating deficit projected for this year.

“Staff believes this increase will raise about $10,000 a year, so it will reduce the deficit to about $44,000,” said Rob Stoutenberg, the town’s chief administrative officer.

“It will be applied across the board.”

For a basic rental for a public meeting, funeral or other similar events, the fee for one day with kitchen use rises to $425 from $275.

For weddings, the daily fee rises to $650 from $325 and $950 for three days.

“The hall is solidly booked, so it shouldn’t have any affect on usage,” Stoutenberg said.

Many groups and users have booked the hall for three years in advance or consecutively, he said.

As with virtually all recreation facilities, community halls like the one in Stettler are also prone to operate at deficits, even though they’re used extensively.

“We’ve been looking for other revenue for the hall,” Stoutenberg said.

A checklist for users has also been introduced to help users when they clean up, to try to ensure the hall is well-maintained, he said.

Campground fees increase

Fees for campers at Lions Campground were also increased for the coming season to bring them more comparable to provincial rates.

For full-service sites, the rate per vehicle jumps to $28 per night from $25, $180 per week from $160 and $680 per month from $650.