County grant brings college closer to goal

Red Deer College is $1 million closer to its $88-million fundraising goal.

Red Deer College is $1 million closer to its $88-million fundraising goal.

Lacombe County council approved the cash to help the college with its project to build a new Health, Wellness and Sport Centre, which is also seen as a key component of a bid to become a polytechnic university.

Approved by a 5-2 vote, the grant to be spread over five years falls short of the college’s $1.275-million request, which was based on the $115-per-capita level of support from the City of Red Deer.

However, it is double what Red Deer County council approved in April.

Lacombe County councillors were united in their desire to help the college out financially. However, there were disagreements over how much to give and how to earmark the money.

Coun. Barb Shepherd was among councillors to question the $115-per-capita standard.

“As far as pegging it to $115 per capita, I’m not sure that’s where we need to go.

“I’m very supportive of doing something.”

Coun. Dana Kreil urged council to pick a smaller number, pointing out that ratepayers expected their taxes to go towards roads, bridges and other more pressing expenses.

Cutting a large cheque for a college outside the county might hurt relations with urban municipalities within the county, which have seen funding requests turned down previously, she added.

“I think we should be considering what Red Deer County gave and I don’t think we should give more than them.”

Red Deer County was approached for a $5-million donation in March. The request was later reduced by the college to $2.3 million. However, college officials walked away with only a $500,000 commitment after a special county public hearing on the issue.

Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law, who with Kreil voted against the grant, also wanted to see a smaller donation.

Law said providing a smaller amount now for the Health, Wellness and Sport Centre could leave the county more financial leeway in future to provide additional funding — if requested — specifically aimed at the college’s efforts to become a degree-granting polytechnic university.

Coun. Rod McDermand favoured making it clear from the start that the money was to go towards the centre and the 2019 Canada Winter Games as one component, and the polytechnic plan as another, by earmarking half of the $1 million to each.

That was not supported by a majority of council.

The money will come from a $5.6-million reserve fund built up from fees paid by local gravel and sand companies and meant to go towards projects of benefit to the county.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Glen Carritt organized a United We Roll Canada convoy around May 2019 that travelled in 2019. An independent review said he breached council code of conduct rules multiple times. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Former Innisfail town councillor breached code of conduct many times, says review

Consultants say 29 of 36 alleged breaches by Glen Carritt had merit

Members of the Red Deer RCMP downtown patrol monitor for drug activity and property crimes. (Advocate file photo).
Two peace officers are training to join Red Deer’s downtown police patrol unit

This “integrated” unit will be the first in Alberta

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

A homeless shelter was promised Red Deer to help the city deal with downtown issues. The city and province finally released a signed agreement on what the facility will offer, a year after a $7 million commitment was made for the project by the province. (Advocate file photo).
City and province take next step in bringing a 24/7 shelter to Red Deer

It will include a detox and counselling services

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (33) makes a save on Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) as Flames' Christopher Tanev (8) and Joakim Nordstrom (20) defend during first-period NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

A crane is used to lift a vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Golf without Woods? Battered leg brings it closer to reality

Golf without Woods? Battered leg brings it closer to reality

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien looks towards the ice as his team takes on the Ottawa Senators during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. The Canadiens have fired head coach Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien, associate coach Kirk Muller

Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien, associate coach Kirk Muller

Canada midfielder Sophie Schmidt (13) attempts a shot on goal during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match against Argentina, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Phelan M. Ebenhack
Canadian women exit SheBelieves Cup on losing note, blanked 2-0 by Brazil

Canadian women exit SheBelieves Cup on losing note, blanked 2-0 by Brazil

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta's COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands with Jason Nixon, government house leader and environment minister, after Nixon is sworn into office in Edmonton on April 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta eyes recall legislation, focuses on COVID-19 aid in spring sitting

Alberta eyes recall legislation, focuses on COVID-19 aid in spring sitting

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie attends a a news conference in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The CFL faces more challenges in its 2021 return than it did last year when it was forced to cancel its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
CFL will have to appease more levels of government to get 2021 protocols approved

CFL will have to appease more levels of government to get 2021 protocols approved

Most Read