Stettler town council to get a raise

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Those elected to Stettler Town Council this fall will get a pay raise.  At their regular meeting on June 4, 2013, a motion was passed to increase the mayor’s annual remuneration from $20,000 to $30,000 and councillors from $13,333 to $15,000. To distance themselves somewhat from setting their own pay, councillors also voted that all further annual increases be tied to inside staff increases.  Councillors argued that the mayor should receive twice as much as they do because of the amount of extra work involved.  In addition to this annual stipend, council members get a per diem for out-of-town meetings or extraordinary in-town meetings at $130 for meetings up to four hours and $260 for a full-day meeting. All increases come into effect when the new council is voted in.
Community centre
John Hull, architect for the renovations to the Stettler Community Centre, was at the meeting to give a status update and take questions.  The latest estimate is now projected at $1,799,280 or $299,280 more than the previous Conceptual Design Phase Budget.
Council had approved a new entry addition, stairs and foyer development.  The complexity of adding on to two different building types and increasing space by 34m2 added $200,000.  The other $99,000 included changing ceiling lighting fixtures from T12 to T8 to save energy, adding two small air handling units to provide better air control to the Library and Seniors’ Centre and opening up the Library’s ceiling. These last three items have not been approved by council.
A decision on the final renovations will be made after the tenders have been received and revenues confirmed.
Councillor Leona Thorogood feels opening up the library ceiling is a “nice to have”, not a necessity and requested it be costed separately.  She would also like to know what other sources of revenue are expected and how much.
Tax reprieve requested
Ron Greidanus came before town council seeking reprieve from taxes on three vacant lots he had subdivided and been unable to sell.  Because they were required to be less than one acre, they are now assessed as residential rather than agriculture.
“I came to town council first before filing with the Appeal Board, because they can only do something about the assessment value, but the town has the ability to reduce taxes”, said Greidanus.  Each property has been assessed $700 in taxes.
Acting Chairman Peter Simons said, “the Municipal Act does give municipalities the right to give a reprieve on taxes, but council needs a good reason to make such an exception”.  A decision on the matter has been put over to another meeting.

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