County donations drying up

Ponoka County has little money left in the coffers to help groups seeking funding.

Ponoka County has little money left in the coffers to help groups seeking funding.

Of the four requests to council June 17 only two were approved. Council set aside $1.6 million for donations in the 2014 budget, which was finalized in April, and $1.4 million has already been spent, explained CAO Charlie Cutforth.

He said most of the remainder is for the Town of Ponoka, approximately $135,000 for cemetery improvements.

“That budget is pretty much expended,” he explained.

Those lucky enough to be approved were the Mecca Glen Rink with $1,500 for heating for the rink shack in the winter. The second was for $250 as a sponsor in the Jace Harty Memorial Bull Riding event.

Cutforth said the county donated $300 last year to the group.

A request from the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce for $2,500 to help pay for fireworks during Almost Midnight Madness was turned down.

“It’s one of their biggest functions of the year,” explained Cutforth.

He said Ponoka County is a member of the chamber but feels the county should not sponsor this event.

The last request came for $15,000 for kitchen cabinetry for the Ponoka Parent Link Centre, which is currently in the process of moving to 5012 48 Avenue to meet a growing number of clients.

Reeve Paul McLauchlin said the new building will better suit the group as the current location is “getting snug.”

Coun. Bryce Liddle suggested larger requests such as this should be seen when council is in the budget deliberation process.

Coun. Doug Weir feels there are other ways these groups can get together. “Women with kids, don’t they have peer groups?” asked Weir.

Coun. Nancy Hartford replied that the programs at the Parent Link Centre benefit young parents and single mothers as well. “They offer Triple P Parenting, it’s a good program.”

Council denied the request due to an expended donations budget.