Council hears growth ‘still happening’

Written by Stu Salkeld

Stettler town council heard their senior staff member report that growth continues around the community, although down a bit from last year. The report was made at the Nov. 1 council meeting.

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Greg Switenky provided councillors with his regular report which also included reports from other department managers and senior staff.

Director of Planning and Development Leann Graham’s regular report to council was included and summarized to date building permit activity.

Graham’s data noted that institutional development permits to date totalled $479,000 in value as compared with $2,868,560 for the same period one year ago, $1,135,000 in industrial building permits as compared to just $65,000 one year ago, $919,139 in commercial building permits compared to $365,900 one year ago and $2,505,645 in residential building permits to date compared with $3,368,178 in 2021.

Switenky noted numbers are down a bit over 2021 but not noticeably so.

“It shows things are still happening,” said the CAO.

He added that new housing developments in Stettler are not included in this report and probably wouldn’t show up until 2024.

Water plant report
Town of Stettler water plant staff has been rather busy lately according to a report filed by water plant supervisor Chris Saunders.

“Nova Chemicals was out on Oct. 12 for a tour of our plant,” stated Saunders’ report. “They came out to see our operation and ask questions on how we dealt with algae as they were having problems at their facility and hoping to get some ideas on how to combat it. They enjoyed their visit and offered a tour of their facility to our staff also.

“Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission was out to tour the plant on Oct. 14. It was a large group of approximately 30 people. They all seemed to be enthusiastic with their questions and seemed to enjoy the tour.

“Many stragglers seemed to really enjoy the tour, staying to continue asking questions and needed to be prodded to catch up with the rest of the group that were gathering at the bus. All in all, it was a good tour!

“Many of the communities being served [by the Stettler plant] were showing lower residual chlorine numbers. The duty operator started to lower the ammonia feed to combat this. The numbers continued to drop so further troubleshooting was required.

“It was found that the ammonia pumps capacities had increased quite a bit, most likely due to the dropping ambient temperatures. This increased the ammonia dosage as well.

“The pumps were recalibrated to adjust for the increased capacity.

“The residual chlorine numbers of the communities all came back up with a couple taking a little longer to do so. All of the communities were in compliance during this time. The numbers leaving the plant were all in compliance during this time.

Transportation report
Council also read a summary of activities from Transportation department staff member Sarah McCrindle.

McCrindle noted the following activities that had been worked on or addressed over the past few weeks: Staff in the transportation dept. got their hepatitis vaccinations for working around the hydrovac, dug out and re-landscaped an outdoor rink in the Meadowlands Park between 66 Street and 68 Street, had the mechanic go through the big sander for the tandem truck and make sure all was good for the winter, traffic light and pedestrian crosswalk monthly inspection, turned on the heaters at all the boxes for the traffic lights, lined up with a contractor to do the yearly inspections on all the traffic lights, picked up and placed cement blocks for the Parks Dept. at the dog park, helped the Water Dept. on a water break and picked the Christmas tree for Main Street, among many other duties.

The Christmas tree for Main Street would be the large tree placed by the Town of Stettler and partners on the annual Moonlight Madness event that will be held Nov. 25 this year.

Emergency services summary
Regional Fire Chief Mark Dennis’ report included an incident summary for the month of September 2022: five motor vehicle incidents, three vehicle fires, 10 alarm calls, nine medical first responses, eight wildland fires and three public services.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.