The Town of Stettler carefully voiced support for the public school board’s new facility efforts. The resolution to support the new school project in principle was made at the Oct. 17 regular meeting of council.
Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Leann Graham presented councillors with a letter of support in principle on behalf of the Town of Stettler for Clearview Public Schools’ efforts to secure funding for a new elementary school and comprehensive renovation of the current high school which is estimated at a combined $90 million.
“Further to your past conversations with our office, the Town of Stettler is pleased to offer its preliminary support for the concept of upgrading and rebuilding portions of the existing William E. Hay Stettler School and the Stettler Elementary School,” stated a portion of the draft featuring Mayor Sean Nolls’ name at the bottom.
“In addition to those projects, we understand that there is also a potential opportunity to construct a multi-use gym facility on the affected lands that would serve the new schools while also acting as a community recreation space for town residents.
“Of course, before the town could consider and determine what, if any, financial commitments it could provide in relation to the projects, the town would require additional information about the actual projects to be undertaken, including the total cost of those projects and any commitments Clearview or the Province of Alberta may be looking for from the town in relation to the same.”
The CAO stated this draft had been examined and vetted by the Town of Stettler’s lawyers. Coun. Scott Pfeiffer stated he liked the letter’s tone, which voiced support in principle for the project but asked for more information.
Councillors unanimously approved the letter of support in principle for Clearview’s new school project.
Don’t tread on me
Councillors approved a tweak to equipment purchases budgeted for the fitness centre after reading a memo from Manager of Recreation & Culture Brad Robbins.
“As part of the approved 2023 capital budget, an expense of $11,000 was approved by council for the purchase of a new treadmill,” stated council’s memo.
“After a complete equipment review by Apple Fitness (now LIV North), in addition to annual maintenance completed by Stettler Rec Centre (SRC) staff, it was determined that our treadmill replacement was not required at this time and it would be more beneficial to purchase and replace two bikes within the fitness centre.”
Robbins noted the Town of Stettler has an exclusivity arrangement with Apple Fitness which saved the taxpayers some money. With the savings, the two bikes, one stand-up and one sit-down version, would cost about $800 more than budgeted.
Councillors unanimously approved the extra funds to purchase two new exercise bikes for the SRC.
CAO Graham noted councillors should expect to see presentations like this one where they decide budget but the specific equipment selection is left to staff.
On-stream water storage
Councillors discussed then supported a request from the Red Deer River Municipal Users Group to begin lobbying the provincial government to look into additional on-stream storage for the river.
Councillors read a letter of request from the group’s Executive Director Rudy Friesen, who described the issue of additional on-stream water storage on the river as an “…incredibly important conversation.”
Coun. Kurt Baker is the Town of Stettler’s representative to the group and stated multiple studies show a lack of on-stream water storage on the Red Deer River could be a problem, especially compared to virtually all other parts of Alberta which apparently have adequate water storage on their rivers.
Coun. Wayne Smith asked for clarification on the term “on-stream water storage,” asking if that means a dam or reservoir. Baker confirmed that’s correct.
Smith followed up by asking how another dam could help, with Baker responding other basins in Alberta have three or four on-stream water storage facilities, while the Red Deer River doesn’t.
“It’s all based on models too,” added Baker. He noted this idea is at a preliminary stage with no sites selected.
Graham gave a verbal update on the Stettler Airport’s runway project.
She noted the town’s partner in this project, the County of Stettler, has let it be known they are committed to providing their share of the project.
Councillors unanimously approved the update as information.
Local Journalism Initiative reporter