Local community organizations made presentations to Ponoka town council on March 8. Council approved the requests, at the amounts asked for, as part of the town’s 2022 operating budget, during their regular meeting on March 22.
Ponoka Neighbourhood Place
Andrea Ramage from Ponoka Neighbourhood Place provided council with an overview of the programming currently in Ponoka. Ramage stated that she looking for help to find a permanent home for the program.
Neighbourhood Place expanded its provision of services to families and individuals in the county of Ponoka in March of 2021 through a mental health grant from Alberta Health Services.
It has recently begun programming with funding through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Community Action Program for Children (CAPC).
Neighbourhood Place is hoping to alleviate what it sees as “the gap suffered by the loss of Parent Link Centres in both Ponoka and Rimbey” with these programs.
“Although the funding is not adequate to replace what Parent Link offered previously, or what is offered by the Family Resource Network currently, we hope to compliment what is available to ensure families have their needs met through strategic partnerships and collaborations,” stated Neighbourhood Place in a letter in the agenda package.
“The issue we are facing is that after expanding services to the county, there is a lack of funding options for day-to-day operations and to provide the services that our community members have come to expect.”
Ponoka Youth Centre
Beth Reitz, executive director of the Ponoka Youth Centre, provided council with a funding request to provide in-kind funding for swimming fees, utilities, program specific support and town employee sponsored mentorship.
Reitz said of all the requests, a commitment to mentoring would be their highest priority, as the centre would like to build a relationship with the town.
The town approved in-kind donations of swimming credits, to provide year-round use of the Aquaplex by the Youth Centre, and a utility credit to help offset its annual utility costs for water.
Administration is currently reviewing and considering the opportunity for town staff sponsored mentorship.
Fort Ostell Museum
Sandy Allsopp from Fort Ostell Museum was not in attendance.
The museum’s request for funding was the same as last year at $26,400.
Ponoka Jubilee Library
Dan Galway and Jeff Ramage from the Ponoka Jubilee Library provided council with the library’s 2022 budget request.
The Ponoka Jubilee Library board requested of $96,660 from the town, the same amount granted in previous years.
The library maintained operations in different forms throughout 2021, whether through socially distanced services, kit-based activities, curbside delivery and outdoor program facilitation.
The library reported it continues to innovate and create service opportunities despite uncertainty with regard to operational models.
Funding for Ponoka Family and Community Support Services was approved at $40,100.Funding for the Ponoka Covered Wagon Wheelchair Society was approved at $31,000.