County donation budget drained

Ponoka County’s community donation capabilities are practically exhausted for the year

Ponoka County’s community donation capabilities are practically exhausted for the year, after setting the $1.6 million budget for requests.

The official decision came after denying a request from the Rimbey Kinsmen for their skateboard park project, at county council’s Aug. 19 meeting. “This is the first soft no,” said Reeve Paul McLauchlin.

CAO Charlie Cutforth says the resources the county uses to fill the donation requests are usually provincial. “The reason the county even has the resources to donate like this is the provincial MSI funding.”

Throughout the year council has approved numerous funding requests, including:

•    The Blindman Handi-Van Society-$20,000

  • The Ponoka Handi-Van Society-$18,000
  • Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society-$30,000
  • Ponoka Neighbourhood Place-$2,000
  • Meridian Beach-$135,000
  • Fort Ostell Museum-$5,000
  • Ponoka Boys and Girls Club-$10,000
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters-$10,000
  • Moose Hall-$20,000
  • Rimbey Agricultural Complex-$1 million
  • Liberty Hall-$50,000

Cutforth says Meridian Beach received $20,000 for public beach areas and another $75,000 to pave the public parking lot. Friends of the Lakefront also received $145,000. “That too is public beach area. It’s a pretty major project they’ve got going.”

“My thoughts are we’re at a point right now where we’re probably tapped out for the year,” said McLauchlin.

New and outstanding requests will be pushed to consideration in the 2015 budget.