The County of Wetaskiwin granted a substantial amount of Municipal Sustainability Initiative funds to a church youth camp located near Mulhurst Bay during the regular meeting of council Oct. 8.
The MSI grant application was presented to councilors by Director of Parks and Recreation Geoff Lynch.
“Administration has received one (1) additional application from a non-profit community group from the County of Wetaskiwin for the 2019 funding year which is outlined below,” stated Lynch in his report to council.
“Mulhurst Lutheran Church Camp Association Campground Shower House Project, 2019 Funding Requested: $70,901.80, Community Contribution: $10,000.00, Project Budget: $81,000.00, Mulhurst Lutheran Church Camp Association Project Name: Campground Shower House Project.
“The Mulhurst Lutheran Church Camp Association would like to upgrade the Wash/Shower house, as there were some safety concerns as well as a need for better handicap access.
“This project is a new 12’x28’ shower and washroom facility building located at the site of the current building which has been taken down. It consists of four gender-neutral individual stalls with toilet, shower and wash sink; one larger gender-neutral handicap stall; each have independent access. The building will be constructed off site and delivered and installed. This will minimize disruption of programs, keep the grounds free of construction hazards.”
Lynch noted in his report that “On May 6th, 2019 Council approved the 2019 Municipal Capital and Operating Budget which included $200,000.00 for Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) Funding.”
Councilor Kathy Rooyakkers noted this facility is not owned by taxpayers.
Lynch responded that the facility does provide a service to the public and while the County of Wetaskiwin usually owns the land, it may not own the buildings located there. Lynch added that councilors previously approved funding to a pool out west which the county doesn’t own.
Rooyakkers responded that there are a lot of churches in the county. “We’re also setting a precedent,” she said. “Not everyone is Lutheran and not everyone will go.”
Lynch stated that the application meets the grant criteria.
Councilors Lyle Seely and Josh Bishop agreed the project is for the youth camp, not the church and Lynch noted the camp is kicking in some of their own funds. Seely noted, however, he felt the applicants should be putting in more than $10,000.
Councilors approved by a 5 to 2 vote to grant $50,000 of MSI funding to the project.