The Town of Stettler will include major water main replacement along with a large runway paving project at the municipal airport, plus many other items included in the 2022 capital budget which was unanimously approved by council at their Feb. 1 regular meeting.
The capital budget, which includes the town’s expenditures for construction and infrastructure projects, was introduced by both Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Greg Switenky and Assistant CAO Steven Gerlitz.
Councillors were also given a detailed report on the budget.
“The 2022 proposed capital budget has been prepared for council’s consideration in the amount of $5,765,096,” stated the agenda memo.
Switenky noted there is a very attractive opportunity for the town to apply for a grant that will help cover the $1.6 million price tag for a new runaway at the Stettler airport.
The CAO explained the grant will cover 75 per cent of the cost, leaving the town responsible for the other 25 per cent.
However, the County of Stettler has already committed to paying half of that 25 per cent, leaving the town only responsible for the other 12.5 per cent.
The CAO also mentioned a major water main replacement program budgeted for this summer.
“Cast iron water main and lead service replacements on 53 Street from 48 to 51 Avenue (two blocks west of Main Street),” stated the staff report. “Excavation will be trenched using shoring to reduce road disturbances and pavement replacement costs.”
The project is budgeted at $950,000 with the majority coming from grants.
Also in the capital budget was more work on the busy 44 Ave. artery.
“Continuing with the final phase of our three-year program to rehabilitate 44 Avenue. Twenty twenty-two will see 44 Ave. from 50 Street (Hwy. # 12) east to the connection back to Hwy. #12,” stated the report.
“Work will include milling 50 mm of asphalt from road and approaches, culvert repairs and regrading where necessary, some ditch drainage improvements and then repave with 50 mm of new asphalt.”
The project is budgeted at over $1.8 million with about $750,000 coming from grants.
Coun. Gord Lawlor recalled about four years ago when he participated in his first budget process shortly after being elected and how complex it was, but now feels the staff do an excellent job of keeping things clear for councillors.
Mayor Sean Nolls agreed, adding he is very confident with how Town of Stettler staff develop budgets which puts him at ease.
The staff memo managed to be optimistic and cautious about the future at the same time.
“Administration remains optimistic in the town’s ability to save for/invest in major capital equipment and infrastructure given substantial multi-year federal and provincial grant programs, however with the global, national and provincial pandemic economic recoveries uncertain, the town will continue to be cautious and challenged in its ability to address all the community’s needs on a timely basis,” the memo added.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter