County of Wetaskiwin handles funding requests

The County of Wetaskiwin council denied the Pigeon Lake Athletic Cultural and Educational Society’s (PLACE) funding request for $97,081.

County of Wetaskiwin No.10

PLACE MSI request

The County of Wetaskiwin council denied the Pigeon Lake Athletic Cultural and Educational Society’s (PLACE) funding request for $97,081. The decision came during council’s Nov. 1 meeting.

The money, which would have come from Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funds, would be put toward the installation of an in-floor cooling system and concrete slab for an outdoor arena located in Falun.

While councilors expressed admiration for the hard work and number of volunteers the organization put into the project there were still concerns.

“It’s unfortunate. There are a lot of unanswered questions,” said Coun. Larry McKeever.

McKeever also added support would not be an issue, but he does not feel the group will be satisfied with just an outdoor rink.

“It’s great they’re working so hard. As a county, how many rinks can we support?” Coun. Lyle Seely questioned.

This is the second time the project was denied MSI funding. On May 24 council denied the request and on Sept. 13th PLACE requested the County of Wetaskiwin reconsider the decision.

STARS 2017 funding request

Wetaskiwin county council tabled a 2017 funding request to the 2016 Strategic and Business Planning Sessions.

STARS is seeking a $2 per capita contribution, which would total $21,732 for 2017.

Coun. Keith Johnson says he knows the county is facing a tight budget next year but wants councillors to keep in mind STARS has needs, including multiple helicopters that will need replacing in the near future. “They’ve been around since the early ’80s I believe it was, if not the late ’70s.”

FCSS grant program approvals

County councillors approved the distribution of $85,940 via the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Grant Program during their Oct. 18 meeting.

Falling into different levels of community programming: children and youth programming will receive $1,500, adult and family programs will receive $3,500, seniors programs are slated for $1,400 and community development programming is listed for $14,200.

Most of the organizations who put in a request received close to what they asked for, or at the very least some funding. This excludes Gwynne School’s Leader in Me program, which received nothing from its $20,000 request, and the Riseup Society in Leduc; it requested $7,642 and was granted no portion of the funding.

“They came to us with a last minute request,” said Geoff Lynch, director of leisure and community services,” referring to Gwynne School.

“It’s a very expensive program. More research needs to be done,” he added. Lynch mentioned the possibility of partnerships to help reduce costs and bring the program to other schools in the county.

The $20,000 requested is the initial cost of the program. Council was informed another $20,000 to $30,000 would be needed afterwards.

Coun. Keith Johnson wanted to ensure the program was not completely taken from the table. “The way I see it they’re more of a preventative (program) than fixing after the problem.”

When Coun. Terry Van de Kraats questioned why administration was recommending Riseup get no funding Lynch says the fact it is in Leduc is part of the reason, as the county already commits funds to the Leduc and Wetaskiwin Victim Services.

“We have those partnerships, we’ll stay with that,” said Lynch.

This was the second call for funding requests and during council’s May 24 meeting councillors approved $52,361 for the grant funding program.