Kneehill County grants funds to Three Hills Thrashers

Kneehill County approved financial support for a local sports team after a discussion at their Oct. 26 regular council meeting.

Councillors read a letter of request from the Three Hills Thrashers that was presented to them by county Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mike Haugen.

The Thrashers sponsorship letter included different levels of sponsorship and recognition for that help.

Haugen stated the county has supported the hockey club before.

 “Kneehill County has provided sponsorship to the team in the past in the form of a half page advertisement in their programs at a cost of $350 and the season tickets were donated to Kid Sport for their disbursal,” stated the staff memo.

“The levels of sponsorship for the 2021/2022 season range from $5,000 to $500.”

Haugen noted during his presentation that council does allocate certain recreation and culture funding from an account set aside for that purpose, and there is about $8,000 in that account.

Coun. Ken King asked if the sponsorship still included tickets. Reeve Jerry Wittstock stated as far as he knew the Thrashers gave the tickets to the county, which then donated the tickets to groups in the community. Haugen added that he wasn’t sure tickets are included, but if they are, the county will donate them to others.

Wittstock stated it’s a good idea to support local sports teams and he thought it was nice to see a sports team planning an upcoming season. Councillors unanimously approved donating $500 to the Three Hills Thrashers hockey club.

Closed session

Councillors spent about 30 minutes in closed session to deal with what was referred to on the agenda as a “land” issue. After coming out of closed session councillors passed a motion by a 5 to 2 vote to accept an offer of $650,000 for the “Sundre-McCall” lands.

The legal land description was given as SE18-33-25 W5 and both Coun. King and Coun. Debbie Penner were opposed.

Regional FCSS budget

Councillors unanimously approved the Kneehill Regional FCSS (KRFCSS) budget after discussion. Councillors read a letter of introduction from director Shelley Jackson-Berry.

“Based on the information we have from the Alberta Community and Social Services Ministry at this time, please find attached your copy of the above referenced budget as approved by the Kneehill Regional FCSS board members at the September 14, 2021 meeting,” stated Jackson-Berry’s letter.

“The Kneehill Regional FCSS Board is requesting a cost-of-living increase of 2.7 per cent to the municipal requisition for 2022. The budget was drafted with the June 2021 Statistics Canada cost of living allowance increase to the municipal requisitions.” The group is comprised of Acme, Carbon, Linden, Kneehill, Three Hills and Trochu.

A staff memo written by Carolyn Van der Kuil advised council of some variables in Kneehill’s population.

“At the Oct. 12, 2021 council meeting, council approved the FCSS 2022 budget,” stated the memo. “There was a significant difference than previous year due to the initial population numbers that were used to calculate the municipalities’ portion. 

In 2021 the county population was calculated at 5,001 and in 2022 the population was calculated at 5,529. Kneehill County’s percentage went from 44.45 per cent in 2021 to 47.7 per cent in 2022.” 

However, she explained the provincial government essentially told staff they could use the 2019 population numbers.

CAO Haugen noted the provincial government also stated there will be no increased FCSS funding in 2022.

Coun. King added there seems to be wildly fluctuating population in Kneehill County. Councillors unanimously approved the FCSS budget using the lower population numbers.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.