By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Independent
Following planning meetings, the Town of Stettler council has approved the 2021 tax budget during their May 18th council meeting.
After deliberations stemming from the planning meeting, where council was given seven different rate options, council has chosen to hold the line in 2021, with zero increases in residential or non-residential taxes.
Utility fees are also being held at 2020 levels.
In addition to holding the tax levels, council has also moved the tax dates from the June to October, giving residents and businesses extra time to get their taxes paid.
Chief Administrative Officer Greg Switenky did caution council that even with no increase to tax levels, the rate an individual property-owner pays is based on property assessment. If assessments increase or decrease, the taxes the owner pays will change correspondingly.
“The explanation of assessment is really important,” said Mayor Sean Nolls.
“(The budget) is easy to read, and it is transparent.”
In total, the budget approved by council will see around $19.5 million in revenue by all sources for the Town, with an estimated $18.75 million in expenses.
Associated with the 2021 budget is the corresponding tax bylaw, Bylaw 2144-21, which also passed all three readings during the meeting.
As part of the 2021 Town of Stettler Capital Budget, $150,000 was set aside for concrete crushing.
“We do this every two to three years as budgeting allows,” said Director of Operations Melissa Robbins.
The gravel crushing project was placed out for tender, with two bids being returned, one for about $90,000 from Edmonton-based Park Paving Ltd. and one for $143,000 from Red Deer-based McKnight Enterprises Ltd.
Based on administration recommendation, council approved the awarding of the tender to Park Paving allowing for a variation of up to $150,000, matching the budgeted numbers, ensuring that as much of the scrap concrete and asphalt is crushed as possible.