Stettler’s town council met for the final time of 2021 on Dec. 21.
The agenda for the meeting was fairly light with the main item on the agenda being the passing of the 2022 interim budget.
Previously presented during a Dec. 7 budget workshop, the budget passed by council was the same one reviewed previously with no changes to municipal taxes or utility rates for 2022.
“(Administration) felt it was prudent to keep taxes as low as we could,” said chief administrative officer Greg Switenky.
The budget presented allows for the expenditure of $700,000 in capital expenses, down from the pre-COVID capital spending of around $1 million.
According to Switenky, that level of capital spending is not where the town would like to be, however, it is a necessity to keep costs lower for town residents and it is hoped that in time the capital budget can be increased again.
The 2022 interim budget was passed by Coun. Kurt Baker.
Also on the agenda during the Dec. 21 meeting was a presentation by Apex Utilities Inc. southern area manager Shane Milner.
Apex Utilities, formerly AltaGas Utilities, re-branded in 2020 and is the town’s current natural gas supplier.
According to Milner, the goal of Apex is to be a “clean and reliable energy provider of choice.”
“Our goal is to minimize our environmental footprint,” said Milner.
“Green projects will define our future opportunities.”
Mayor Nolls inquired about the prospect of hydrogen coming into the community instead of natural gas in the future.
Milner was unsure about the particulars, just that Apex was researching hydrogen as an alternate energy source.
“We have research to do,” said Milner.
“My knowledge is limited.”
According to the Apex Utilities website, the company was first incorporated as Albert Consolidated Gas Utilities in 1951 when it acquired shares of eight different utility companies.
The next meeting dates for Stettler’s town council will be Jan. 4, Jan. 18, Feb. 1, and Feb. 15, 2022.