The County of Stettler cleaned up their books and wrote off debts that appeared to be uncollectable. The decision was made by resolution of council at the Dec. 14 regular meeting.
Director of Corporate Services Krista Cornelssen presented the results of a staff examination into debts as of Dec. 1 2022 that appeared to be uncollectible and recommended they be written off.
“We are trying to clear-up our accounts receivable totals to ensure the records of the County of Stettler No. 6 are current and accurate,” stated Cornelssen’s memo to council. “We have made repeated attempts to collect on these accounts but little to no response has been received.
“We currently have on our records accounts receivable balances from prior years. They consist of three customers and total $208.91.”
Cornelssen, who stated regardless of whether they’re written off the county still tries to recover the debts, noted in her report the delinquent accounts included customer BLA022 which owed $49.51 plus finance charges for truck fill services dating to October 2021, customer RID002 which owed $62.73 plus finance charges for truck fill services dating to July and October 2021 and customer JAM007 which owed $96.67 for CAP levy finance charges dating to April and September 2021.
It was noted in the memo the last customer’s CAP levy principle has been paid. Readers should note the County of Stettler CAP levy is a fee related to aggregate hauling.
Coun. James Nibourg asked if the two truck fill debtors were still using the service. Cornelssen responded no, the county generally cuts off that service for anyone who goes three to six months without paying their bill.
Reeve Larry Clarke asked why customer three’s CAP levy charges couldn’t be applied to their property taxes rather than writing them off. Staff agreed that was a good idea and noted they would look into it.
Councillors unanimously passed a resolution writing off the first two unpaid debts.
Councillors unanimously approved the County of Stettler 2023 interim operating budget as presented by Cornelssen.
“The County of Stettler No. 6 needs to adopt an interim operating budget to allow the County of Stettler No. 6 to purchase, issue cheques and advance payroll after Dec. 31, 2022,” stated Cornelssen in her memo to council.
“Council has been workshopping the budget which will be publicly presented January 2023 and considered for approval by council in January or February 2023.”
During her presentation Cornelssen stated the interim budget was “just a formality” but one that needed to be approved by Dec. 31 to ensure the county can continue conducting business. She further clarified the full 2023 budget remains in the development stage.
Cornelssen stated the interim budget was, essentially, the 2022 budget with a new name.
Council was introduced to Stettler RCMP detachment Acting Commander S/Sgt. Jon England. He stated he was filling in for detachment commander S/Sgt. Bruce Holliday, who is away.
England stated he’s been told that he will be in charge of the Settler detachment for three months while Holliday is away but that’s probably an RCMP term for “they don’t know how long it will be” said England.
“It’s likely going to be longer,” said England. “I would anticipate six months to possibly a year.” The staff sergeant added that he didn’t know if he would be the acting commander for that entire time.
Coun. James Nibourg asked that council move into closed session to discuss private issue with England that council had previously discussed with Holliday.
Councillors were in the private session with England for about 14 minutes before the meeting was re-opened to the public.
Local Journalism Initiative reporter