The Rimbey Agrim Centre will soon have an employee, as Ponoka County and the Rimbey Ag Society have agreed there is a need for a manager to operate the facility on a day-to-day basis. File photo

Ponoka County to pony up funds for Agrim manager

Consultant’s suggestion shows position only way to generate more use

Ponoka County is stepping up with financial backing to help get another agricultural facility to compete for more business.

At their meeting on Sept. 24, council approved moving forward on a deal that would provide $200,000 annually for three years so that the Rimbey Agricultural Society can hire a manager for their Agrim facility. The money would also go toward paying for the society’s loan payments on the facility as well as other expenses.

Consultant Ken Kendall, hired by the county last year to provide guidance through an upgrade of the facility, along with Rimbey Ag board member John Trenson appeared at the meeting to answer any questions about taking this next step.

In August, council agreed a manager would help, but requested financial information from the society and wanted assurances the county could be involved in the hiring process as well as that the society was okay with the arrangement.

Kendall explained there has been several challenges the facility has faced, weather being one of them, in being able to attract more bookings for 2019.

“Unfortunately where we are now is that the potential of this facility is not anywhere near being met right now because of the volunteer situation,” Kendall said, noting it’s hard to actively promote it when volunteers are running things.

“We are at the crossroads where we truly want to see the facility and grounds used to their full value and maximum impact.”

He added that one suggestion was to look at three days initially with full time as a goal depending on more bookings and events.

Coun. Mark Matejka liked the idea, while also stating that someone else, with differing skills than the manager, could be hired to provide any extra help.

Trenson added the issue has been monitoring the changeovers and the communication between people, so it would be nice to have someone there during and between events to coordinate and keep things running smoothly.

As for concerns about oversight, Kendall noted the board is more than happy to hand over the day-to-day operation to a manager and take a couple steps back.

“We just need to find the right person, someone who has some business acumen yet is also comfortable with setting up and running events and doing some marketing,” he said.

In discussing the subject, Cutforth told council that Keyera’s plant expansion provided the increase in property taxes to enable the maximum $600,000 commitment.

Kendall and Trenson did agree to have a non-voting spot available for a county council representative on the society’s sub-committee that oversees the operation.

The agreement would be reviewed after three years.

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

Just Posted

Supporting a friend with mental health issues

AHS: Do you have a friend who just doesn’t seem to be their usual self?

PHOTOS: Ponoka Curling Club hosts Alberta Junior Curling Tour Event

The Ponoka Curling Club hosted its first-ever Alberta Junior Curling Tour Event… Continue reading

Jeffery Kraft of Ponoka remembered for being loving, well-liked

Kraft passed away on Dec. 15, 2019, in Lacombe at 20 years old

Deserving Ponoka student appointed to National Youth Council

Yael Witvoet will now be able to advocate for causes on a national scale

Province investigating death of Samson Cree Nation youth in care

16-year-old found deceased outside in Rocky Mountain House

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Alberta Urban Municipalities Association wants province to make tax changes

The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled last year that municipalities are unsecured creditors

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

Womann can’t be identified under a court-ordered publication ban

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

RCMP receive tip on Amber Tuccaro’s homicide file

Banff RCMP contacted by a male who alleged that his father may be responsible for a missing person

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Most Read