After months and months of fundraising, Ponoka Elementary School’s new playground is set for construction.
The fundraising group, which raised close to $425,000 for the project asked the town and county of Ponoka to support the project with $5,000 each as they are short $25,000.
Town council approved the request after hearing the group feels they have exhausted all options from residents. The Rotary Club and three local businesses donated $15,000 to meet a deficit leaving them with $10,000 left.
With the town approving $5,000 all the group is waiting for is approval from Ponoka County for the last $5,000. Money donated is being taken from the general benefit reserve.
“We want to help get this project off the books,” stated Mayor Rick Bonnett.
Canada 150 grant adjustment
Town planners are setting aside $143,000 to take advantage of a Western Economic Diversification Canada – Canada CIP 150 grant.
A letter from CIP 150 grant is requesting the town guarantee the amount until approval from the province on its Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant goes through.
The project is intended for the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex with repairs of the parking lot, the purchase of a dehumidifier and other improvements.
Currently the town approved the expense of $143,000 from MSI funding but that still has to be approved by the Alberta government. Council approved the request with Coun. Teri Underhill voting against it.
Town closer to having its own peace officer program
Planners are moving forward with the Peace Officer Program after council authorized the application to the Solicitor General for a Level 1 position.
There was some discussion around the position with some councillors asking about the guidelines of hiring a peace officer considering Sgt. Kyle Koller is the current officer.
CAO Albert Flootman said when he interviewed Koller before coming to Ponoka — the officer is still part of the Rimbey program until the town’s request is approved — he treated it as a job interview.
Prediger and Coun. Teri Underhill wondered if there is a process that needs to be followed.
“Certainly he would be the most qualified for the position,” offered Flootman who added that Koller also came with a fully equipped vehicle.
Coun. Sandra Lyon added that she believed Koller was expected to be hired on as an employee of the Town of Ponoka once the approval came through.
Bridge naming contest
Town planners have already started receiving name suggestions for the new North Bridge. This will help with planning as the town launched a bridge naming contest.
A panel of three to five people will judge the names and will be comprised of members from community groups such as the Drop-in Centre, Ponoka Youth Centre, Economic Development Board, the downtown revitalization committee and the Fort Ostell Museum Society.
Deadline for entries is Wednesday, Sept. 8 at Town Hall by 4 p.m. The person who submits the winning name will receive a $200 Ponoka gift certificate.
Town supports Victim Services golf tournament
Council supported the Ponoka Victim Services golf tournament set for Sunday, Sept. 11.
Council approved a team entry and a meal at $560 plus $500 for a hole sponsorship. “This is their major fundraiser,” explained Coun. Carla Prediger speaking in favour of the request.
Proclamation request tabled
A request to proclaim Oct. 16 to 22 as National Teen Driver Safety Week has been tabled after councillors realized a previous proclamation request was tabled.
Resident Jim Hamilton mentioned to council during the public forum that a previous proclamation request was tabled.
Prediger requested the motion be tabled until a policy is developed and her motion was approved,.
Council approved the dates of Nov. 2 and 3 for budget deliberations, which are open to the public.
Plans are underway to host a public engagement session but those dates are yet to be determined.
Police Advisory Committee appointment
Resident Kelly Budd has been voted as a member of the Police Advisory Committee.