County residents voted ‘NO’ in a vote of the electorate held Monday, June 27, with the advance vote being held Thursday, June 23, 2016.
The vote posed a question to County of Stettler No. 6 residents, “Are you in favor of Council passing Bylaw 1564-16 authorizing the borrowing of $5,261,000.00 for the construction of a new County Public Works Shop Facility?”
Exactly 1047 eligible voters weighed in on the issue at voting stations throughout the County, with 54% of voters saying no to a new shop facility and 46% of the voters saying yes.
Council chose to take the question to voters after receiving a petition of 527 eligible voters opposing Borrowing Bylaw 1564-16, to borrow $5,261,000.00 for the construction of a new County Shop Facility.
Reeve Wayne Nixon said, “We are pleased with the turn-out of voters in this vote of the electorate and know that the majority of voters do not wish for Council to borrow $5.2 million dollars to build a new County shop facility.”
“Council will now need to decide how to proceed, because doing nothing was never one of our options,” Reeve Nixon added.
A recent intrusive study on the existing shop, ordered by Council and carried out by WSP Canada Inc., concluded the current 47-year-old shop no longer meets the needs of County operations by uncovering a growing list of required building code upgrades and Health and Safety obstacles which must be addressed in order to continue with current operations.
In addition to the County shop, there are five other building on-site accommodating Agricultural Services, Utilities, storage, plus ATCO trailer offices for Public Works, Engineering, Utilities and Agricultural Services staff. Protective Services and Utilities staff are also currently housed in the administration building. A new facility would accommodate current equipment sizes which have long outgrown the existing space, plus move the large County operation outside of the Town limits. The County currently operates beside a residential neighborhood and is neighbored by Points West Assisted Living facility, walking paths, and a sports park which presents a safety risk with County equipment accessing adjacent roadways. The County also currently operates at the pleasure of the Town, since large equipment coming and going from the site breaks a road use weight restriction of 4500 kg.