The town has approved its annual in-kind donation for the Ponoka Youth Centre/Boys and Girls Club of Wolf Creek for 2019. However, it has deferred an added request for a $2,000 donation until budget talks in April. Ponoka News file

Ponoka council to look at higher donation to youth centre

Ponoka town council approved a donation request from the Ponoka Youth Centre, though it will look a bit further to do more in 2019.

The formal funding request from the Boys and Girls Club of Wolf Creek came at the March 12 meeting and an in-kind donation of $2,200 in water utility usage plus $1,000 in swimming fees was unanimously approved. The money had already been discussed and set aside during the town’s budget deliberations last October.

However, a request for an additional $2,000 to assist in paying for summer programming was set aside until council finalizes the 2019 budget next month.

Kinsmen sale

Also at the meeting, council approved a pair of motions concerning the Kinsmen Community Centre’s sale to Cash Foods (Hamilton’s IGA), following an in-camera session.

RELATED: Ponoka council approved sale of Kinsmen Centre at $510,000

The first motions approved an agreement on the sale along with construction on the purchased property. It also noted that the name of the actual purchaser could be changed to Hammy’s Spirits Inc. and that the town CAO and the purchaser will come to an agreement on the occupancy date prior to the agreement be executed.

The second motion allows the purchaser to act as the town’s agent when applying for subdivision, development and building approvals to implement the agreement.

Capital idea?

With council rescinding its motion to withhold the education portion of property taxes, the agenda item that was slated to outline how administration was going to move ahead on some 2019 capital projects was tabled by council.

The hope is that the provincial government will now release the MSI and other grant funds to Ponoka due to the original withholding motion.

Last month, administration was asked to come back with a list of capital priorities and how to fund them if council decided to continue on its path to challenge the government on the taxation issue.

Union deal

Another motion passed following the in-camera session ratified the newly negotiated one-year agreement with the town’s unionized electrical workers.

Details of the deal, which is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019 and expires at the end of this year, with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) include a 1.75 per cent wage increase to reflect the anticipated cost of living increase for 2019.

An additional increase would apply if the Consumer Price Index for the region exceeds 1.75 per cent as of December 2019. The additional amount would be equal to the percentage points exceeding the original 1.75 per cent.

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