Stettler town council extends bylaw officer contract for five years

Written by Stu Salkeld

Town of Stettler council extended the municipality’s contract for bylaw enforcement and animal control services for another five years. The decision was made at the Nov. 23 regular council meeting.

Councillors read a summary of the bylaw and animal control contract discussion they recently had at a Nov. 9 committee of the whole (COW) meeting where they heard a presentation from Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Greg Switenky and Director of Planning and Development Leann Graham who noted the current contract expires in 2021. The COW meetings may result in a recommendation being sent to council for approval.

“CAO Switenky provided historical context regarding previous animal services contracts, and advised that the option of hiring an independent officer for the Town of Stettler has been considered and evaluated for cost,” stated the COW meeting minutes.

“During the last renewal process, it was determined that administration and council were satisfied with the value, hours of service and animal control protocols provided by Alberta Animal Services.

“Graham advised that in 2005 the Town of Stettler entered into a one-year part time contract with Alberta Animal Services (Red Deer) for bylaw/animal enforcement. In 2006 the contract was expanded and over time the contract has been enhanced to the current contract (2016) which includes 140 hours of patrol time per month as well as office and travel time. 

“The current contract between the Town of Stettler and Alberta Animal Services expires on December 31, 2021.”

The report included a financial breakdown of the proposed five year extension with the contractor, beginning in 2022 with monthly costs quoted at $13,625.49 and ending in 2027 with $15,039.99 in monthly costs.

Council and staff discussed options for bylaw enforcement and animal control, including the town forming its own department or tendering the work, and arrived at the decision to continue with the current contractor. 

“In 2016 administration performed extensive research regarding options for bylaw enforcement in the Town of Stettler,” stated the COW minutes.

“It was determined at that time to continue with the Alberta Animal Services contract. The level of service provided from Alberta Animal Services includes a reliable officer in uniform, all employment related costs, training, safety, insurance, a specialized vehicle, equipment and software, 24 hour accessibility, boarding and impound facilities and all operational costs.”

It was also stated the contractor works well within the Stettler community. 

“Graham concluded by advising that the new officer provided by Alberta Animal Services has been seemingly well-received by the community, maintains daily contact with her and she is happy with the level of service the town receives,” stated the COW minutes.

During the council meeting Switenky stated the contractor does good work. “We’ve been extremely pleased with their contract over the years,” said the CAO. He noted the contractor doesn’t handle traffic, which is the responsibility of the RCMP.

Councillors unanimously approved the five year contract with Alberta Animal Services for bylaw enforcement and animal control in the Town of Stettler.

Path to the future

Councillors also read a COW report from the same Nov. 9 meeting where Director of Operations Melissa Robbins presented on the Town of Stettler pathways master plan.

 “The plan is designed to increase connectivity over time, while maintaining existing pathways,” stated the COW minutes. “It has been found that the pathway system is being increasingly used. The purpose of examining the plan is to build an idea of cost, accessibility and obstacles for potential pathway expansions throughout town.

“Robbins presented a map outlining the current pathways throughout town, as well as a map of potential connectivity routes, order of magnitude estimated, cost, etc. Council affirmed that they agree with the current priorities of the plan; continuing with identified areas 4(a), 4(c), 4(b) and as annual capital budgets can support.”

 It was noted no resolution of council was needed at this time.

 

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.