No tax increase

Passing first, second and third readings at the May 10 regular council meeting, Bylaw 1578-17, the County of Stettler’s 2017 tax rate bylaw reveals no increase in the mill rate.
A motion brought forward to add half a mill at the first reading was defeated.
Municipal expenditures and transfers total $29,251,255 requiring $19,224,513 to be raised by taxation after $10,026,742 in municipal revenues and transfers from all other sources are taken into account.
According to published budget documents, there is a proposed zero increase in taxes for three years.
The 2017-2019 County of Stettler budget was passed on Dec. 14, 2016.
Significant cuts and re-allocations were made to reflect provincial government reductions and new commitments.
All county departments reduced their budgets for 2017 and capital purchases can be delayed since the equipment fleet is in excellent condition.
Committed to maintaining current services at appropriate levels, the county will capitalize on grant monies as they become available.

Debate continues

The Councillor Reimbursement policy remained a sticky issue as council debated maximum meal allowances and the proper procedure to claim those allowances when representing the county at events.
The debate began last month over concerns raised regarding the reimbursement of expensive meals.
After administration explained how established allowance amounts are payed out, council determined that the policy needed review.
A raise in the allowance was not considered.
Council agreed that transparency was of the utmost importance and suggested an amendment to the policy to say ‘maximum’ of $50 per day and require submitted receipts.
Administration will bring the amended policy back again.

 Linda Stillinger,  ECA Review reporter

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