Is the Rural Crime Committee worth it?

A request from the Rural Crime Committee prompted a larger discussion from County of Stettler Council.

At the regular meeting on Wed. Feb. 12, the Rural Crime Committee asked council about possibly funding two people to attend the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association Conference for two days including Coun. Cheri Nietz who sits on this board and another member.

Neitz also attended last year.

Coun. James Nibourg felt sending their other councillor representative on the board, Coun. Wayne Nixon may be better just to give everyone an opportunity to attend and to ‘get a different perspective.’

Council then started to question the validity of the group wondering if continuing on with this is a good idea or not, as funding has continued to dry up in other areas.

“They never budgeted any money in their budget so I’m uneasy about it,” said Coun. Nibourg. “Our budget is as tight as it is at $600,000 tighter than we thought so we have to draw the line in someplace.”

Council asked what the committee’s overall annual budget is which came to $5,000 including all initiatives like the trade show.

Last year they came in over budget to produce custom magnets with important contact information.

Coun. Nibourg mentioned that in speaking with Wainwright, they do not have any County Peace Officers as they feel it is another form of provincial downloading that should be on the RCMP.

This group came as a grassroots form where community members were asking for support of their voice so the Rural Crime Committee was born but councillors couldn’t seem to pin down a definitive purpose for the group.

“The purpose of the group was to get feedback, not a talk-down approach,” said Coun. Nibourg.

Other councillors pointed out the benefits of the Coffee with a Cop event that has been travelling to different parts of the county over the past couple of months but were hoping to get reports on what conversations have transpired.

It was a round table approach where each individual had a moment to chat with a police officer from the Stettler detachment and county but the others who attended were sitting around waiting so the format has changed to a presentation style where people can give questions and hear the same answer from the officer at the front of the room.

A motion to send Coun. Neitz to the conference and pay for registration was narrowly carried with four in favour and three opposed.

A second motion was also carried to ask the Rural Crime Committee of their terms of reference for review as council felt they ‘need conversation on viability of the committee’ rather than a full-out strategic plan.

The Village of Gadsby officially dissolved effective Feb. 1, and accounts in their name were in need of the signing authority changed.

Council passed a motion to confirm that documents signing shall apply to all accounts and negotiable instruments which may be under the name of the Village of Gadsby and shall replace Village of Gadsby resolution 357-05-30-19.

The Order in Council dissolving the municipality specifically leaves intact all bylaws and resolutions of the Village of Gadsby until they have been rescinded, amended, or replaced by the council of the receiving municipality, in this case the County of Stettler.

All liability and assets of the dissolving village are vested in the receiving municipality.

Money received from the village upon dissolution and money received from the sale of any assets of the village may only be used for the purpose of paying or reducing a liability incurred by the village, or for purposes for which the village could have used it.

Council technology refresh

After having several technical issues with some of the councillor’s iPads, the time had come for the decision to replace them.

Council had the decision to replace all, some or none of the devices but ultimately chose to only replace the ones with constant problems while keeping the others as they were still running smoothly.

The replacement of all of the devices was originally budgeted at $14,000 and scheduled last year so administration was eager to move on this.

Coun. Nixon’s iPad was literally held together by some duct tape and drill bolts while Coun. Nietz had software problems that have been recurring.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.