A new program which will allow Stettler residents to make home improvements and pay for the renovations over time on their taxes is another step closer to reality after the May 2 council meeting.

Following a public hearing during the council meeting, where no submissions were received or presented either for or against the proposed programme, the final two readings of the bylaw were read.

The program, overseen by Alberta Municipalities but administered by the municipality, will allow residents of the community to apply to have proposed renovation work done on homes, such as replacing furnaces, windows, or other high-cost repairs that could be made to make a home more energy efficient paid for upfront by municipal affairs, then have things repaid over 25 as part of the annual tax levy.

To qualify for the program, homeowners will be required to undergo an energy audit before the renovations and again afterwards, the cost of which can be charged to the program.

Any contractors brought in to do work must be approved by Alberta Municipalities.

“You can’t get your neighbor to do the work,” said chief administrative officer Greg Switenky.

As part of the bylaw, the town will establish a $2.5 million credit line to fund the anticipated 45-50 applications they will receive when the program goes active.

While the bylaw is now passed and in place, the program is not yet live; the bylaws must be sent to Alberta Municipalities for a final review.

While it is possible the final go-live for the program could be later in 2023, according to Switenky during the council meeting, the current anticipated start is sometime in 2024.

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