Town increases White Sands administration fee by 158 per cent

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  • Jul. 14, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Town of Stettler council voted to renew the town’s agreement to provide administration and accounting services for the summer village of White Sands.

Stettler has been providing those services to White Sands since 1999.

The current agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2010.

Stettler has steadily increased its fees every year since 1999, starting at $12,650 plus a one-time set up fee of $2,850 to $19,000 in 2010.

The new agreement is bound to raise a few eyebrows as Stettler will now charge White Sands $30,000 per year for the next six year.

“In 2011, we recognized that White Sands was becoming extra work for us,” said Greg Switenky, assistant CAO.

“We looked at a substantial increase and White Sands reviewed and felt that, while it was substantial and they were not overly happy with it, they wanted to be locked in for a longer term like five to seven years, it would be good for them.”

The council of White Sands has already approved the agreement.

The fee increase was based on assumptions about the number of hours town office employees spend per year working on White Sands files.

“We’re adjusting the rates to reflect the reality of what’s being done in White Sands,” said Rob Stoutenberg, town CAO.

“We’ve realized that we do more for them than we give ourselves credit for.”

The fee also reflects that White Sands’ growth over the past decade has increased the workload for Stettler employees.

“I think that every year, the workload has increased as there are more properties out there and thus more work with developing, taxation, financial accountability and the level of operations,” said Switenky.

“It’s a reasonable deal for both sides,” concluded Stoutenberg.