Kneehill County council has approved a request from the Drumheller Badlands Historical Society for a $5,000 donation to help support repairs to the roof of its building during the regular Tuesday, January 10 council meeting.
The funding request initially came before council for consideration in December and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mike Haugen explained the society was proposing the facility could be used by youth programs, such as 4-H Clubs, as a rally point; however, following discussions council moved to table the request pending additional information from the society.
“I’m for supporting things, but it is a slippery slope because we have four museums in our county alone that may request to have something repaired on their facility,” stated Division 4 Councillor Carrie Fobes during the December meeting.
Following the request for more information, Badlands Historical Centre President Louise Henrickson indicated in a letter the society itself owns the facility, and is governed by a board of six active members who were newly appointed in June 2022.
Ms. Henrickson also noted the society has faced some challenges over the past few years due to a break in, damage to a skylight, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The last fundraising events held by the society managed to raise $3,000, and while the society has a casino planned for 2024 it is not anticipated the funds raised from this will be permitted to be used towards the roof repairs.
It was indicated the society has also applied to several different grants but has not been successful in these endeavours to date.
The Badlands Historical Centre has been in operation since 1957 and its new board is looking to diversify and “(breathe) new life into the museum” and continue sharing the history of Drumheller and the surrounding areas through its artifact collection.
Deputy Reeve Ken King shared, while the society is interested in utilizing the facility as a rally point for youth programs, he also saw value in approving the donation request based on preserving and protecting the artifact collection housed at the facility.
This sentiment was echoed by Reeve Jerry Wittstock, and Division 6 Councillor Wade Christie added the fact the board is trying to encourage participation in the society by youth had caught his attention due to challenges faced in his own division.
Council approved the $5,000 donation request with four in favour and two opposed.