Red Deer County invests $200,000 more into Bowden Community Hall

Red Deer County council was in a giving mood, turning over $200,000 towards the completion of the Bowden Community Hall.

That was twice what the Expanding Horizons Bowden Cultural Enhancement Society had asked council for Tuesday.

The contribution puts the society about $38,000 shy of what it needs and chair Mabel Hamilton is confident the group will get there.

“We can do that,” said Hamilton.

“It’s a very big relief. It’s amazing the county has understood the need for this community to have a boost, which is what this is.”

Originally budgeted at $1.8 million, the total costs came in at $2.4 million. When completed the 6,500-square-foot hall will have a banquet area capable of hosting up to 350 people.

The society approached Red Deer County asking for an additional $100,000, but it was Coun. Connie Hueslman who thought it would be worth a bigger investment.

“I want to see this project finished,” she said, adding Red Deer County residents make up about 53 per cent of the users of the hall.

The County has already contributed $600,000 to the completion, but some councillors were adamant that funding halls was essential.

“It’s a nice hall, but it’s not grandiose or over built,” said County Mayor Jim Wood. “I believe if we grant a smaller amount, we’re setting the hall up for failure. The halls are one of the best investments we make in our communities. We’re helping a community build a facility that will be shared by everyone.”

Council approved the funding in a 5-2 vote with Phillip Massier and Richard Lorenz voting against the $200,000 motion, but saying they would have supported $100,000.

“I don’t know if we can bail them out for every nickel they need,” said Massier.

The commercial kitchen is the top priority for the hall, as finishing it will help the hall start bookings right away. The society is also trying to create a weekly farmer’s market at the site.

“We’re a small community, but we’re a very vibrant rural community,” said Hamilton. “The fact we’ve been given this extra money is just the shot in the arm we needed. We’re so proud of our community and of Red Deer County for supporting us and understanding that this hall is a plus for everyone.”

The hall should be open by the end of March.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

Updated: Red Deer man sentenced to six years for stabbing death

Shane Dion McPhee pleaded guilty to manslaughter for February 2016 slaying

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Canadians support strict restrictions on pot packaging: Health Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government says the Canadian public broadly supports the… Continue reading

Mali choppers face crash threats, but can shoot back at militants: Vance

OTTAWA — Given prior experience, the Canadian helicopter contingent bound for Mali… Continue reading

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Rebels Fan Fest set for Wednesday

Time to cheer on the Rebels; Tickets on sale for WHL playoffs

Uber self-driving vehicle hits, kills pedestrian in Arizona; Company stops tests

TEMPE, Ariz. — Uber says it has suspended all of its self-driving… Continue reading

Tories want debate on 12-month mission to support UN mission in Mali

OTTAWA — Canada’s official Opposition wants a full parliamentary debate on the… Continue reading

Brand of lean ground beef recalled due to possible presence of E. coli

OTTAWA — A brand of lean ground beef is being recalled because… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month