County of Stettler hears dealership can’t deliver on truck offer

Written by Stu Salkeld

In a sign the economy and especially the new vehicle market is still struggling under supply chain problems the County of Stettler will buy two three-quarter ton pick-up trucks in the city after a local dealership was unable to deliver on its original offer.

The decision to slam the brakes on one vehicle purchase and put the pedal to the metal on another was made by county council at their regular meeting July 12.

Councillors read a request for decision from Director of Operations Joe McCulloch stating that an accepted offer for brand new pick-up trucks that met certain specifications from a Stettler auto dealer appeared to have run out of gas.

“In April 2023 the County of Stettler No. 6 approved the purchase of two three-quarter-ton pickup trucks from Gary Moe Chevrolet Buick GMC for the price of $69,375.25 plus tax each for a total purchase price of $138,750.50,” stated McCulloch’s report to council.

“Unfortunately, the county has since been informed that the GM Canada fleet is ‘fully subscribed’ and will likely not be able to produce all vehicles currently on order.

“The County of Stettler has reached out to other organizations that had responded to the advertised tender but has been unsuccessful in sourcing available vehicles.

Subsequently, a wider search was conducted for available retail vehicles with the following result: Tower Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Calgary offered two pick-ups for $69,000 each for a total of $138,000 plus tax.

McCulloch noted in his report the purchase was included in the current budget but needed council approval because the transaction was originally awarded to Gary Moe Chevrolet Buick GMC.

During discussion, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy summarized that the local purchase was going forward until the County of Stettler received notice from Gary Moe Chevrolet Buick GMC that the dealership couldn’t supply the trucks through no fault of their own.

“Just can’t get them,” said Cassidy, adding the Stettler dealer sent a letter apologizing for the situation.

Coun. James Nibourg stated the County of Stettler goes out of its way to shop locally, but in this situation that obviously wasn’t possible. During discussion, several councillors voiced disappointment the county had to go out of the community to purchase vehicles.

Councillors unanimously approved purchasing two three-quarter ton pick-ups from Tower Chrysler in Calgary for a total of $138,000 plus tax.

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.