Local briefs – December 29

Efforts have been boosted to build at park for skateboarders in Lacombe. The Town of Lacombe, during a recent council meeting, upped the size of parcel it will offer to one acre and has also promised a grant of $40,000 toward building the park, committee member Mark Visscher said recently.

Lacombe may get skateboard park

Efforts have been boosted to build at park for skateboarders in Lacombe.

The Town of Lacombe, during a recent council meeting, upped the size of parcel it will offer to one acre and has also promised a grant of $40,000 toward building the park, committee member Mark Visscher said recently.

Committee members have just begun fundraising toward a park that will cost $500,00 to build, said Visscher. Outside the grant from the town, the committee has raised $15,000 in the four months since it became active.

One of the major obstacles to fundraising has been lifted with the announcement that Lacombe Family and Community Support Services will partner with the committee, enabling donors to receive a tax receipt for their gifts to the project.

The committee is still looking at one of two locations. If unable to build at Lacombe Athletic Park, the skate park will go to Michener Park, said Visscher.

Committee members hope to start building in the summer of 2010.

Campground proposal clears first hurdle

A Caroline couple’s attempt to build a private campground west of the village has cleared the first hurdle, with more to go.

Brian and Beverley MacCharles own a quarter section of land about three km west of Caroline, south of Hwy 54 at the intersection with Burnstick Lake road.

They have laid out plans to build a 200-to-300-stall campground on a 99-acre portion alongside the Raven River.

Clearwater County council, during its Dec. 8 meeting, approved rezoning of the land from agriculture to recreation district by a vote of four to three.

Rezoning was a contentious issue for neighbours and members of council who have a number of concerns, county planner Keith McRae said. Area residents voiced their fears during a public hearing as part of the rezoning process.

Concerns included increased noise, loose dogs, increased traffic and the impact on agricultural land.

McRae said the land is currently in pasture and considered of moderate value for agriculture.

There are still more hurdles ahead, said McRae. The couple’s next steps will be to create an outline plan and development strategy that will meet public and council approval.

Penhold’s only service club is folding

Penhold Lions Club president Jim Carton waited in vain for someone to show an interest in keeping the long-running service organization alive in town.

A meeting was held on Dec. 21 at the museum to see if anyone would step forward to save the town’s only service club, but not a person showed. With that, the decision was final to disband the club that had been involved in the community for 38 years.

“The official letter goes out in the registered mail tomorrow that we’re done on the 31st,” he said from his home on Monday.

The club’s remaining 10 members voted last month to fold the club after making a last-ditch effort to encourage new blood. Members made phone calls, approached other local halls and took their plight to the area’s media.

Carton didn’t get a single phone call.

There was resignation in his voice as he talked about the club he has been involved with on and off for more than 20 years.

“I think it’s time. This town is just a bedroom community of Red Deer, I really do.

“Everybody who lives (in Penhold) works in Red Deer, shops in Red Deer, comes home and sleeps and they’re gone again.”

Carton doubts another group will step into fill the void left by the club, which has raised funds for many local causes and projects over the years and began with 40 members.

There is likely a few dollars left for one final donation and then the books will be closed.

Over the last few weeks, the club has doling out the remaining $22,000 it had left in its accounts. STARS, the Penhold Museum and Penhold Drop-In Centre were just a few of the groups that benefited.

Over the years, many organizations and projects have received funding. Local schools, parks, youth and sporting groups and others have been given donations.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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