President Norma Leslie and Director Alan Willis from the East Central Alberta Heritage Society presented the Rails & Tales 2017 celebration plans for Canada’s 150th anniversary to Stettler Town council on Feb. 7.
Rails & Tales 2017 is a partnership between non-profits, municipalities and business including East Central Alberta Heritage Society, Alberta Prairie Railway, Canadian Northern Society, the Village of Big Valley, Big Valley Historical Society, Alberta Railway Museum, Rocky Mountain Rail Society, Heritage Park, Reynolds Museum, Pioneer Acres and the Métis Nation of Alberta.
Eager to solicit council support, Alan Willis revealed the event’s extensive plans.
In conjunction with the Alberta Prairie Railway train trips, Rails & Tales will be staging an eight-day exposition showcasing the Canadian railway’s influence on the culture and development of our country.
Hosted in Stettler and Big Valley from June 28 to July 5, the exposition will include entertainment, community dinners, displays and events celebrating Canada’s pioneer, military, Métis and railway history.
This event is expected to attract 6400 visitors from all over Canada, the USA and Europe staying two to three days, requiring food and accommodations in addition to visiting local attractions and businesses with an estimated $3 million plus impact into the local economy.
Council approved the $1000 request to support this event leaving the door open for further assistance if needed.
2017 Capital Budget
Following the Council Capital Budget deliberations which were held on Jan. 30, Stettler’s 2017 proposed Capital Budget was approved in the amount of $4,984,200.
Expenditure summaries by department include $17,500 in administration, $127,000 to the fire department, $391,000 in transportation spending, $2,440,000 for water and sewer upgrades, $547,500 toward sidewalks and pathways, $177,000 to the water treatment plant, $40,000 for the airport, $117,500 to parks and cemetery, $180,000 in Community Hall upgrades and $946,700 for the Stettler Recreation Center including $919,100 toward ice plant replacement.
Funding sources for the capital budget include government grants and transfers from reserves.
An update to Stettler’s existing Smoking Bylaw 1898-04, amending the definition of “smoke” or “smoking” was approved.
Concerns brought forward by Wm. E. Hay Secondary School and the RCMP Resource Officer at the school, brought attention to the need to update Stettler’s 2004 smoking bylaw.
Products such as e-cigarettes, vaporizers and other electronic smoking devices have been introduced since the passage of the town’s smoking bylaw, raising concerns regarding the risks to public health similar to cigars, cigarettes and pipes.
Administration consulted with the City of Red Deer, reviewing their smoke free bylaw regarding the enforcement of e-cigarettes, which helped to define Stettler’s new definition, bringing old wording up to speed with current practices.
Home business approved
Council approved an application request for a home occupation at 7602 – 50 Avenue subject to the applicant’s compliance with all existing land use bylaws, any provincial, federal or other municipal legislation, current Alberta Building Codes and a business license.
The applicant proposed a machining and fabrication business on his property, which is considered as an accessory use as the main use remains residential.
The business is to be operated from an existing attached garage.
The property is located in an area with long term plans to transition into mixed commercial/industrial, making the application of a machining and fabrication business conducive to the area.