Town of Stettler increases handi-bus funds by $5K

Handi-bus people note service looking at $27K deficit this year

By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent

Stettler town council voiced their support for an important local transportation resource during their regular council meeting Nov. 20. All councilors were present for the meeting.

The Stettler Handi-Bus, represented by Cindy MacDonell and Judy McKnight, wanted to discuss their operations and budget with town council.

The ladies noted the handi-bus is looking at a bigger deficit this year and were requesting more money from the town. The service is funded through grants from the town, County of Stettler and the Superfluity second-hand store.

They also noted of the two vehicles the service uses, a van and a min-bus, one of the vehicles is being repaired regularly and probably needs to be replaced soon.

Councilor Al Campbell asked about mileage on the unit in question, and the ladies responded it has well over 100,000. It was stated a new mini-bus will probably cost about $65,000.

Councilor Wayne Smith asked if user fees can be increased to cover budget issues. The ladies answered a trip now, one-way, is $5, and most of the handi-bus passengers are seniors or handicapped who have limited resources. They noted some passengers already have trouble paying the $5 fee.

Smith noted that during the October election campaign he was told that the $5 fee was too high.

Councilors saw some numbers supplied by the ladies. In 2017, the handi-bus has had 5,202 total trips to the end of October. It was noted during discussion that some passengers who are handicapped can’t use a taxi, for example, as their wheelchair, walker or other medical equipment can cause an issue with a standard vehicle.

Councilor Scott Pfeiffer said he sees the handi-bus as a vital service to people likes and the handicapped in Stettler.

The handi-bus budget showed that the service would likely be about $27,000 in the red this year. Campbell asked what the handi-bus would like the town to do.

The ladies responded funding options are limited, as there is no provincial grant for handi-bus service. As well, paid drivers are required to ensure reliability and the organization doesn’t have the volunteer base to raise funds.

Campbell noted the handi-bus is an important service that relies on local support. “This isn’t just their problem,” said Campbell. “Boy, it’s ours.”

Smith suggested simple fundraising like sponsorships to cover the shortfall. “This town is typically very generous,” said Smith.

The ladies also stated they probably needed to raise public awareness about the handi-bus, it’s importance and it’s budget.

Councilor Gord Lawlor noted the handi-bus could reach out to the families whose members use the service.

Town council voted unanimously to increase the town’s contribution from $20,000 to $25,000 and to also include the service in annual budget deliberations.

Mayor Sean Nolls stated the council understands the importance of the handi-bus. “We really appreciate everything you guys do,” said Nolls.

editor@stettlerindependent.com

Just Posted

Bullfighter Brad Boice is abolutely living his dream

A recent injury did nothing to dampen Boice’s flat-out passion for the sport

Stettler’s history richly showcased at local museum

The Museum will also be featuring Canada Day celebrations

Stettler Health Services’ annual golf tournament a big success despite soggy weather

Annual event ran June 22nd at the Stettler Golf and County Club

Murder charges laid in incident near Rimbey

Rimbey RCMP working with crime unit

Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

Lower youth minimum wage won’t apply at this year’s Calgary Stampede

A new minimum wage of $13/hr is now in effect for Alberta workers aged 13 to 17

Local cowboys take the Stampede lead on opening night

Bareback, team roping has Ponoka sitting pretty in race to the finals

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Accused mother cries at Alberta trial over boy who died of meningitis

Parents charged with failing to provide necessaries of life for their son who died in 2012

Ponoka County receives update from energy lobby group

CAPP hopes to work with municipalities on property tax issues

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Most Read