Lacombe County donates money for Joffre rink

Outdoor hockey in Joffre is about to get a lot better.

Outdoor hockey in Joffre is about to get a lot better.

Lacombe County council agreed on Thursday to a $125,000 donation, that together with $302,000 from Nova Chemicals, will be enough to go ahead with plans to build a new outdoor rink and multi-use facility.

Joffre Community Society, an organization around since the 1930s, recently approached the county for funding help when a hoped-for provincial grant didn’t come through.

Tim Timmons, the county’s manager of corporate services, said the project falls within the kinds of initiatives the county has supported in the past and recommended approval.

The money will come from a $4.27-million recreation capital assistance reserve fund.

Coun. Paula Law voted against the project.

Numerous people from the area are skeptical of the need for a full-sized rink and doubted it would be well used, she said.

Coun. Brenda Knight said the society has worked hard on the project and it should be supported.

“And you know I hope the naysayers are proved wrong.”

Coun. Cliff Soper said the existing rink is undersized and is in a dangerous location. Rink lights interfere with traffic on nearby Secondary Hwy 815, he said.

The rink will also have courts for summer sports and can be used for in-line skating.

Supporting initiatives in smaller communities makes a statement to county residents, said Coun. Rod McDermand.

“I think it’s important that we make the statement that we’re not just here for the larger communities.”

The county previous agreed to contribute $58,000 in in-kind donations. Construction is expected to start this year.