For the first time since 1999, fees for business licences in Stettler will go up next year.
At the first meeting of the new council last week, the town raised annual fees for residents to $150 from $125 and for non-residents to $350 from $325, with part of the fee applied to membership for the Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development.
Last changed in January 1999, the town council of the day reduced the resident rates to $125 from $150 and non-resident fees to $325 from $350.
“We run the risk that when we don’t increase fees for decades, we eventually have to address it and make dramatic raises,” said Stettler Mayor Dick Richards, who initiated the increase.
“We put more funding into physician recruitment with the board of trade.”
All councillors supported the raise in rates.
“A $25 increase would be small,” said Coun. Sean Nolls, a new councillor who represents the town on the board of trade and owns a business.
Under the structure, resident covers business owners who reside in the town and county of Stettler.
For the coming year, the town projects that increase in fees will generate revenue of $90,300, an increase from $77,140 under the previous rates.
Rezoning for ENR Distribution
With plans to expand business, ENR Distribution has received initial support to rezone its property at the north entrance of town on Highway to industrial from highway commercial.
Council gave first reading to a bylaw to rezone this property at 4611 — 51A Avenue and 5106 — 46 Street to allow ENR to expand on property it acquired from Shell Canada.
“ENR Distribution and Shell Canada worked in conjunction to remediate the site from previous contamination,” said Leann Graham, planning and development officer.
“It was an identified brownfield site, however, with the effort of ENR, this property has been reclaimed.”
Mayor and councillors expressed that this is a good “first step” to help remediate brownfields in the community.