Diesel, a four-legged resident of Stettler, was relieved to learn his dog tag fee will not be increasing in 2024. ECA Review/S.SalkeldStu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Stettler town council decided through resolution that dog and cat license fees in 2024 will remain at their 2023 levels after hearing a report from Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kim Hymers. The decision was made at the Nov. 7 regular meeting of council.

“Town administration has conducted a review of our existing dog and cat licenses and rates,” stated the staff memo. “Dog bylaw 2050-14 and cat bylaw 2049-14 were passed in March of 2014; the license fees did not change from the previous bylaw.” 

The Town of Stettler charges $50 for a dog license and $25 for a cat license, fixed or non-fixed, plus $10 for tag replacement.

The staff memo noted that in 2023 the Town of Stettler issued 694 altered dog licenses while it issued 74 unaltered dog licenses which combined for revenue of $21,050; in comparison in 2023 the Town of Stettler issued 309 altered cat licenses and no unaltered cat licenses for revenue totalling $7,725.

Staff noted they compared the Town of Stettler’s dog and cat license rates to five other Alberta municipalities similar in size and Stettler was almost exactly at par.

During discussion Hymers noted the number of pet owners registering for a town license was so great last year that the town was worried it might run out of tags.

Coun. Wayne Smith, noting he is not a pet owner, asked how unlicensed dogs and cats are handled by the Town of Stettler. 

Hymers responded the bylaw officer talks with the pet owner and issues a warning, then checks up on the situation later to ensure a license was purchased.

Councillors unanimously agreed to leave 2024 dog and cat license fees at the 2023 level.

Transfer of funds approved

Director of Operations Melissa Robbins requested and was approved to transfer $20,000 from the equipment rentals budget to a vehicle repair budget to ensure an important piece of ice clearing equipment is available when needed.

In an email to the ECA Review Nov. 9 Robbins clarified she requested councillors approve $20,000 of unspent drainage funds be transferred into equipment repairs to cover $14,000 of work to a Public Works tandem. 

“The tandem holds the sander, so yes, very important for our operations,” stated Robbins in her email. 

During discussion Robbins noted the tandem in question is tentatively scheduled to be replaced in the 2024 capital budget which is scheduled for discussion in January 2024.

Christmas preparations

The CAO presented councillors with a request for decision regarding staff work over Christmas. 

“As part of an overall employee benefits and appreciation strategy, town council historically grants a period of five consecutive days off (including weekend days) at Christmas for regular town staff,” stated the report from Graham.

“In 2023, Christmas Day, Dec. 25, falls on a Monday, followed by Boxing Day on the Tuesday. Scheduling the fifth consecutive day off on Dec. 27 would create a two-day work week from Dec. 25 to 29, which administration deems as unfavourable. 

“Therefore, Administration proposes that the additional day off be granted for December 22, 2023 with the staff appreciation luncheon being held on the afternoon of Dec. 21. 

“For historical context, a five-day period of holidays was granted in 2022 from December 23-27.”

Councillors unanimously approved the CAO’s request.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 16, 2023 at 14:03

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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