County boosting funding for rural facilities

Red Deer County is boosting funding for rural facilities and cemeteries by nearly $200,000.

Red Deer County is boosting funding for rural facilities and cemeteries by nearly $200,000.

Council voted Tuesday to increase the amount doled out through several programs to $585,500 from $385,600.

The sharp funding jump prompted a few words of caution from a pair of county councillors.

Jim Lougheed said he was in favour of the programs to support community halls, other rural facilities and cemeteries but did not want to see funding boosted too rapidly. If the cost of supporting the programs gets too high, the county could face tax increases or the prospect of cutting back programs community groups had come to expect.

Councillor George Gerhke said he also did not want to see the funding help grow out of proportion.

Ric Henderson, county community and protective services director, said the programs were rolled out several years ago following the completion of a major review of community services needs.

The popular programs were reviewed in 2007, and again last year, and staff determined more funding would be helpful. The plan is not to make large annual boosts to the programs.

“This is a refining of the policy that should still stay in effect for some time to come.”

Henderson also pointed out the county has pared down the number of facilities that receive funding to 32 from more than 60 previously.

Under the approved changes, the maximum annual operating grants for community halls will increase to $7,500 from $5,000. Also, there are now five different funding levels, compared with three previously.

Agricultural societies operating facilities in the county will get $50,000 to help run an arena, $10,000 for other outdoor facilities, and $7,500 for halls.

The maximum available as part of a Rural Community Facility Capital Assistance Grant has been increased to $100,000 from $75,000. Since the program had more applicants than available money in past years, county staff recommended the total amount up for grabs be boosted to $250,000 from $100,000.

Funding available to maintain cemeteries has been boosted to a range of $500 to $2,500 from $400 to $1,200. The maximum available every three years for a cemetery capital assistance grant has been boosted to $5,000 from $4,000.

A program that provided up to $3,500 for community facility or playground assessments was dropped because it is no longer needed.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Open house on proposed addictions treatment centre to be held at former Red Deer nightclub

Community is invited to learn more about the $2-million project on May 2

Sri Lanka expats wait to reconnect amid social media block

NEW YORK — Viji Devadas hasn’t heard from her nephew in Sri… Continue reading

US expands probe into air bag failures to 12.3M vehicles

DETROIT — U.S. auto safety regulators have expanded an investigation into malfunctioning… Continue reading

New study suggests oilsands greenhouse gas emissions underestimated

New federal research suggests greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta’s oilsands may be… Continue reading

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

TORONTO — The Royal Canadian Mint is unveiling a new commemorative loonie… Continue reading

Oh, yes! Nurse, Raptors look to finish series with Magic

DENVER — In response to an early call, Toronto coach Nick Nurse… Continue reading

Delay of game calls, goalie interference top worst rules for NHLers: survey

The pace and excitement of 3-on-3 overtime isn’t just a thrill for… Continue reading

Avengers get epic send-off at ‘Endgame’ world premiere

LOS ANGELES — There were more than a few sniffles from the… Continue reading

Writers’ Trust launches program pairing rising writers with established mentors

TORONTO — The Writers’ Trust has launched a program that gives five… Continue reading

Family: A potpourri of Easter egg hunts, music and politics

The election is a thing of the past. Albertans have spoken. They… Continue reading

Sri Lankan-Canadians mourn victims of terrorist attack in their homeland

Sri Lankan-Canadians were gathering Monday to mourn those killed in a massive… Continue reading

Residents along Saint John River told to remain on alert as floodwaters rise

FREDERICTON — People who live along New Brunswick’s Saint John River are… Continue reading

Prince Edward Island voters to cast verdict on new electoral system

CHARLOTTETOWN — Canadians are expected to learn late Tuesday whether the cradle… Continue reading

Most Read