Project funding arrives

Libraries, roads and water works are among the projects to be supported by new and revised funding programs announced by the federal and provincial governments on Thursday.

PENHOLD — Libraries, roads and water works are among the projects to be supported by new and revised funding programs announced by the federal and provincial governments on Thursday.

Officials from all three levels of government faced icy winds at the site where Phase I of Penhold’s new Multiplex is now under construction to announce a group of programs totalling more than $300 million across the province, including a number of projects in Central Alberta.

Together, the programs are aimed at stimulating economies, providing jobs and helping communities catch up with the phenomenal growth experienced in recent years.

As an added bonus, construction costs, including materials, are down by as much as 40 per cent from when Alberta’s economy was in overdrive, said Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.

More help is to be announced in the future as well, said Ouellette.

He joined Penhold Mayor Julia King, Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen and Yellowhead MP Rob Merrifield, Secretary of State for Transport in making the announcements.

Shared equally between the three levels of government, the programs provide money for 73 different infrastructure projects now underway or just getting started in communities with populations of under 100,000 people.

Local projects include water and wastewater projects in Eckville, Rimbey, Sundre, Sylvan Lake, the County of Stettler and Red Deer County.

Ponoka, Three Hills and the County of Stettler will get help with road projects and other projects include the library or Phase II of the Penhold Multiplex, a regional library project in Innisfail and construction of a Métis museum at Buffalo Lake.

King said she does not yet have specifics on how much money the federal and provincial governments will provide for the Penhold project, which is estimated at about $16 million altogether.

Although Phase I is slated to open next year, the town is just getting started on raising its share of the money, said King.

Penhold has raised about $120,000 toward its goal of $5 million for the two phases of the project, she said.

The town has set up some fundraisers, including a lobsterfest this summer, and is approaching corporate donors as well.

“We have given presentations to corporate entities, but we have not been given any information back yet,” said King.

Ouellette said that although specific amounts were not announced on Thursday, the program will enable Penhold to complete Phase II and will also provide Innisfail with the backing it needs to start building its new library. With the grants now in place, the library can be completed in two years, he said.

Just Posted

Schizophrenia a misunderstood illness, an Alberta expert says

Schizophrenia Society of Alberta campaign kickoff features TSN’s Michael Landsberg in Central Alberta

WATCH: Collecting coats and donations from drivers in Red Deer

Central Albertans made donations to keep children warm and neighbourhoods safe from… Continue reading

PHOTO: Fall Harvest Festival in Red Deer’s West Park

The West Park Community Association hosted the Fall Harvest Festival near West… Continue reading

Man dies in Hwy 2 collision near Ponoka

A 46-year-old man is dead following a three-vehicle collision on Hwy 2… Continue reading

Canyon Ski Resort aiming to open Nov. 10

The finishing touches are being put on Canyon Ski Resort trails just… Continue reading

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Halifax smoking ban begins today; city announces several new smoking areas

Halifax’s sweeping smoking ban begins today, two days before recreational cannabis is… Continue reading

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

TORONTO — The organization behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes says provincial education systems… Continue reading

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

Most Read