Botha seeks help from Stettler County

Stettler County council

The Village of Botha held a special meeting Jan. 6 to address the resignation of their Chief Administrative Officer Eric Jerrard and Coun. Frank O’Hagan.  At the special meeting, Botha decided to make a formal request to the County of Stettler for administrative assistance.

At the Jan. 13 county meeting, CAO Tim Fox assured council that Municipal Affairs determined there is no conflict of interest to provide the services, given that Botha is undergoing a viability review and the county is on the review team. Council agreed to assist Botha with both CAO and administrative support.

Shawna Benson will act as Botha’s CAO and county staff will provide additional administrative support for the village. Negotiations are underway between the village and county to determine costs for the services.

A by-election to fill the position of Botha councillor is set for March 16.

Shop gets the green light

All councillors took a turn to express their opinion on moving ahead with the construction of the new county shop and administration building.

After a lengthy debate, council voted to move ahead with tenders on the shop facility as well as designs for the administration building.

The estimated cost for both buildings is $14,599,157. The other options presented were to construct just the shop at $9,648,526 or to build neither and renovate the existing shop.

“We can kick this can down the road for 15 years,” stated Coun. James Nibourg, who made the motion to proceed with both buildings.

“In the economic time that we’re in, it’s not fiscally responsible,” countered Coun. Dave Grover.
Coun. Les Stulberg brought some long-term perspective into the discussion stating that council could not just consider today’s situation.

“This project isn’t about today or tomorrow,” Stulberg stated, pointing out the county would be using the buildings 50 years from now.

Coun. Grover and Coun. Ernie Gendre voted against proceeding with the new facilities with all others supporting the motion.

Lake residents look for inclusion
Buffalo Lake residents Darrel Baltimore and Julie Rattan approached council with a request to include representatives from the lake communities on the Buffalo Lake South Shore Management Committee.

The non-voting ‘members at large’ would give input on behalf of their communities as well as take back information from meetings to their residents.

Baltimore believes including the members would encourage better relations and greater communication between all involved parties.

Prior to making a decision, the county will contact adjacent Buffalo Lake counties of Camrose and Lacombe for feedback on the proposal.

About the author

ECA Review