Financing has been approved for the Ponoka Gym Club to construct its building and organizers Annette Fenske and Lavern Hooper were at a county council meeting June 19 to inform them of the group’s plans.
“We’ll be receiving money from the credit union. They have approved our loan. They do not require us to have a co-signer, so that is a plus,” said Fenske.
There has been interest from other organizations in town to also rent out the building.
The delegation told councillors they hope to have the building up by the fall, but a representative of the company working with the gym club, George Peters, with Kajona Builders Inc. said he would not be able to start for at least several months.
The challenge is organizing with other companies involved with the construction.
“We’re looking at the end of September at the earliest before we see some action happening,” explained Peters.
Fenske plans on working with the Town of Ponoka to set up a temporary arrangement similar to last year at the Kinsmen Community Hall.
Chain Lakes Management update
After discussion at a recent open house, Ponoka County has made changes to the Chain Lakes Watershed Management Plan. CAO Charlie Cutforth said Bob Riddett, who authored the plan, suggested the county advertise and post it on the county’s website to get feedback from stakeholders.
“If we get lots more input and so on, then we may want to get Bob to come out again and address council,” he said.
Race Against Hunger contribution
County councillors agreed to donate $500 to Encana’s Race Against Hunger. Cutforth said the county contributed $500 last year as well. “My recommendation is we do it again this year.”
Internet towers considered
Ponoka County has worked to ensure high speed internet service in the county by constructing communications towers with half of the funding coming from a provincial government grant and the other half paid by the county.
After completion, there were still some dead areas throughout the county due to topography, explained Cutforth. Council approved the purchase of seven towers at a cost of $50,000 each. Three are still incomplete as the company who would run them is concerned they might not have enough customers to support the operation costs.
Cutforth spoke to a local company who feels they should be able to construct eight or nine smaller towers at $19,000 each, which should cover the dead spots.
“For a hundred and eighty grand, scrap these other three $50,000 towers, build these nine for roughly the same amount of money, if we get grant support great, but that wasn’t part of the commitment that we budgeted for,” he said.
Cutforth also feels this will benefit the local economy.
Coun. Paul McLauchlin hopes to have this completed by the end of December. “I think we need to finish this program.”
Council approved the decision to use the left over money to purchase the smaller towers.
Councillors received a break down by township of the population in Ponoka County in 2011. Cutforth said there is a slight increase in the population over the last census, which was conducted over five years ago.