Council considers CAEP membership

Ponoka county council is considering giving CAEP membership a one-year trial run.

Based on a presentation given by Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) manager Dale Barr, and the fact that Ponoka County is one of the remaining areas in central Alberta not a member of CAEP, county council is considering giving membership a one-year trial run.

However, the deadline isn’t until March 31 and council is awaiting a membership package from Barr until they make any decisions.

A membership fee for the county is based on a per capita equation. With a population of around 8,856, according to 2011 numbers showcased in Barr’s presentation, a membership for the county would cost $3,542.40.

“You haven’t been members in the past. I’m here to convince you of the value that CAEP presents for central Alberta,” Barr told council Jan. 9.

Barr wants central Alberta to become the most prosperous region in Canada, through CAEP’s operations. While council agreed to discuss a one-year trial, Coun. Gawney Hinkley believes it will end up being something the county doesn’t need.

“Maybe it’s something we should get at, I’m not sure it really falls into the category we’re used to. I don’t know how they can change our ideas on subdivisions, and what we’ve been doing in the past or what we’re going to do in the future. I’m not sure that $3,500 is well spent,” he stated.

CAEP represents approximately 200,080 people. Municipal members of CAEP include the towns of Rimbey, Ponoka and Bentley, the cities of Red Deer and Lacombe as well as Clearwater County, Wetaskiwin County, Red Deer County and Lacombe County. Associate members include Red Deer College, the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, Chinooks Edge School Division and Red Deer Airport. The initiative also represents the Montana Band, and Barr is talking with Samson and Ermineskin.