The Stettler Regional Board of Trade and the Northern Alberta Business Incubator (NABI) approached Stettler town council at their regular meeting for a $5000 investment towards a study to assess the feasibility of introducing a business incubator to the Stettler district.
Designed to get small businesses out of basements and into storefronts, NABI’s business incubator model has helped entrepreneurs create commercially viable businesses by providing start up counselling, marketing resources, core business skill training and month-to-month office space leasing while significantly reducing capital start up costs.
A feasibility study would be able to identify if a business incubator would be sustainable in Stettler and what the start up costs might be, along with the various hosting options.
Hoping to encourage new business creation, investment and expansion, the Board of Trade believes the formation of a local mixed-use business incubator would be a positive tool for the area, aligning with the 2017 Town of Stettler strategic priorities.
Questioning whether this kind of investment should be part of their mandate, councillors agreed a feasibility study had merit, though further discussion was necessary before a decision could be made.
SRC Ice Plant
Council voted to replace the Stettler Recreation Centre’s ice plant after reviewing the eligible tenders received by the April 10, 2017 closing date.
The SRC ice plant has been experiencing failures recently, including a major breakdown during the 2016 Christmas break which jeopardized the hockey season.
Ice plant life expectancy in the province of Alberta is 20 years and at 22 years of age, the SRC ice plant has reached the end of its expected useful life.
Accepting staff recommendations, the purchase of the SRC ice plant from Gateway Refrigeration Ltd. will proceed in the amount of $1,294,565 which includes $1,244,565 for the ice plant and a $50,000 contingency with funding to come from the Recreation Agreement Reserve, Recreation Agreement 2017 Funding and General Reserves.
Mental health awareness support
Mayor Dick Richards commended William E. Hay psychology student, Madison Bauman on her project to raise mental health awareness for Mental Health Week.
Bauman’s project involves distributing emerald green T-shirts (the mental health awareness colour) with one in five enblazoned across the front highlighting the one in five Canadians affected by mental illness and encouraging fellow students to wear the T-shirts on at least one day during Mental Health Week between May 1 and 5.
The psychology student had come to council with an appeal for financial support to purchase the T-shirts at a cost of $18 each.
While applauding Bauman’s efforts, Mayor Richards had to decline, stating that unfortunately council could not sponsor her request with taxpayers’ money.
Yet in a surprise announcement, Richards revealed that Stettler town councillors and administration had decided to personally fund the purchase of 10 T-shirts in support of her worthy project.