Ponoka County has agreed to fund the construction of another recreational project at the Summer Village of Parkland Beach, a proposed sports park to be build on public reserve land. File photo

Ponoka County approves money for pair of building projects

Council also passes provincially mandated tax relief, approves regional library increase

A pair of requests for Ponoka County to contribute funds for work on recreational opportunities has won approval of council.

The two requests, from Johnson’s Beach and the Summer Village of Parkland Beach, were passed unanimously at council’s meeting on Sept. 24.

Just over $41,000 was committed from the county’s 2020 budget to the project, which will help support the Community Facility Enhancement Program grant application that the Westlake Society/Friends of the Lake Front are submitting for a proposed sports park.

The park would include the construction of a tennis/pickle ball court that would be available to the public.

Council approved the idea since the summer village is also lending its financial support to the proposal.

At Johnson’s Beach at Red Deer Lake on the county’s eastern edge, the county has committed financially to reconstructing the washroom and concession building at the campsite area.

“The structure has deteriorated badly and is not in good shape, so a quote has been received for just under $20,000,” stated CAO Charlie Cutforth.

“Just to remind council that the county is the registered owner of this facility and it is operated on a volunteer basis by the Johnson’s Beach association. The county has contributed from time to time over the years for various improvements and ongoing expenses. However, beyond that, the group has been fairly self-sufficient.”

Coun. Bryce Liddle added at some point it becomes the county’s problem since they do own it, so something needs to be done.

In addition, Cutforth stated the price for the work is very reasonable and if the facility continues to get the use out of it that the campground does each year, then it will be well worth it.

Tax relief

A new motion was passed by council on the property tax relief being handed to operators of shallow gas wells, now that the provincial government has finalized how it is supposed to work

That meant a motion approved in August had to be rescinded and this new one passed to replace it.

Cutforth explained the county only recently received details on what linear assessment and specific properties qualify for the cancellation or refund of taxes paid or owing in 2019 in order to reduce the overall amount by 35 per cent.

“The bottom line to the county is $467,858.02, so it’s in the ballpark of what we estimated,” he said.

“To clarify, we now also apply to the province for a reduction in the school property tax requisition. However, if it becomes permanent — which it is being assumed it will — there is no guarantee of funding support then we can assume that we would have to cover that reduction through our own resources.”

Regional Library

Council approved the 30 cent per capita increase to $8.55 per resident requested by the Parkland Regional Library in their 2019-20 budget request. The overall amount of the county’s contribution will rise about $3,000 to a total of just over $83,000.

Cutforth stated that both the Rimbey and Ponoka public libraries rely heavily on the regional system for not only books, but for other services as well including administrative and technical support.

Coun. Doug Weir, who represents council on the board of the regional library added the organization is run rather lean, just like the county and the increase is about keeping an adequate level of compensation for staff in order to retain the good people that are there.

McLauchlin was fine with approving the hike, though he noted that things may change quickly once the provincial budget is released on Oct. 24, adding there will likely be a call for more money if the board finds it has a shortfall due to cuts in grants from the province.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Children’s Christmas Shopping Party

Helpful elves: The Children’s Christmas Shopping Party, sponsored by the Ponoka and… Continue reading

REFLECTIONS: They came from Nova Scotia to the pristine countryside near Ponoka

By Mike Rainone for the News The rugged, challenging, and colourful saga… Continue reading

Proposed health care changes would be “devastating” to rural family practice: president of AMA

AHS, AMA and MLA Ron Orr chime in on recent health care announcements

There’s still time to stamp your Passport to Christmas

There are 50 Ponoka businesses participating

Photos: 2019 Ponoka CP Holiday Train stop

Featuring Madeline Merlo and Scott Helman

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

MP Blaine Calkins: Alberta left behind in Speech from the Throne

Liberal course does nothing for Alberta economy, crime

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

Ponoka RCMP seeking public assistance in locating missing person

Ponoka RCMP is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 35 year old… Continue reading

Lawyer competence includes knowledge of Indigenous-Crown history: B.C. law society

All practising lawyers in B.C. will be required to take a six-hour online course covering these areas

Wealth of Canadians divided along racial lines, says report on income inequality

One interesting finding was that racialized men have a higher employment rate than non-racialized men

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

Toddler’s body was found outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017

Most Read