Arena expansion top priority for Delburne Ag Society

Delburne Report

“Up until now, it’s been speculation,” stated Kari Dionne, treasurer for Delburne Ag Society regarding plans to construct an arena addition to accommodate dressing and meeting rooms.

Dionne met with Delburne Village council at their Dec. 8 meeting to update council about the Society’s progress.

The estimate to build the addition is $1,275,000. The group has applied for a Canada 150 Grant: a federal program that funds rehabilitation of existing community facilities. The society is also seeking other sources of funding.

According to Dionne, besides use by local and surrounding groups, the society would like to host more provincial tournaments but the dressing rooms cannot accommodate the teams.
Council agreed that a letter of support from the village would help in the society’s bid for grants. Financial assistance may be considered at a later date.

Council requests plan

The Delburne Aging Well Society will have to bring forward a firm business plan for their proposed seniors lodge before the village considers donating vacant village lots for the project.

Coun. Kathy Faulk stepped out of the room for the discussion due to conflict of interest but the rest of council agreed to encourage the society to bring forward a formal plan.

In reference to the vacant lots, Coun. Bill Chandler stated “They’ve sat there long enough now, let’s do something with them.”

Planning services necessary

Delburne will join other members of the Parkland Community Planning Services (PCPS) to lobby for direct funding from the provincial government, similar to what already exists for Calgary, Edmonton and municipalities with a population of over 55,000.

Currently, PCPS and four other regional planning services receive no automatic funding but must apply for grants through the Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) Program. PCPS provides planning and development services to communities that would otherwise need to hire there own staff, an option smaller communities cannot afford.

The ACP is currently under review. According to Dionne Comeau, Director for PCPS, the five regional services are looking for $1 million per year each to remain sustainable. In total, 120 municipalities province-wide belong to and are served by the planning services, explained Comeau.

In 2014/15, both Calgary and Edmonton were each allocated $3.5 million for core planning services through the Metropolitan Funding (MF) component of ACP. Figures are available from the Municipal Affairs website.

Water rates rise

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the base rate for water will increase to $24.85 from $22.85. The increase will bring the village closer to cost recovery for village water services.

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