Grant application success will shape scope of recreation facility | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Grant application success will shape scope of recreation facility

    The next step on the path towards a community facility is seeing how far the funding  can take the project.
    The Community Facility Steering Committee wrapped up a series of public consultation meetings. The next step is to secure the funding.
    “It was a public consultation to see if there were any additional needs identified, and we received some feedback for that, and that is a great thing” said committee co-chair Tony Lacher. “Now we have to go with what we have and proceed forward with grant applications.”
    Lacher said the community consultation meeting went well. About 30 people attended each evening meeting, which consisted of a slide presentation, and solicited feedback from attendees.
    “It was very important that the steering committee provided the opportunity for residents to get together to discuss the project," said Mayor Bryce Nimmo. "There was a lot of good discussion and a common theme from the three events was that we need to proceed with the project sooner than later.”

Lacher says the success of grant applications will determine how far the community will be able to go in realizing a community facility.
    “It is going to drive the scope of the project,” he said. “We have to see where all the dollars land on that end of it.”
    He says the committee has nailed down its fundraising target at $6 million, and are hoping they can raise $8-10 million in grant dollars.
    “If we are successful then we will be taking the next step and seeing how much bang we can get for our dollars, which will be the design point at that stage,” he said. “We’re not out to build something we can’t afford.”
    Lacher said the process for applying for grants needs to be stepped up, as the federal government aims to stimulate the economy.
    “We are proceeding with the Building Canada Grants, which the application deadline is March 15. We understand they (the federal government) have entertained, approved and funded applications as they are landing. Steven Harper said ‘cut red tape,’ I guess they did,” said Lacher. “This is a good thing, rather than waiting six months after we get it in, the answer should be prompt.”
     He said there is another fund announced through the federal government’s budget, for a $500 million fund towards recreation, but no guidelines on what qualifies have been released.
    Despite the economic downturn, Lacher says their fundraising goal is attainable.        “We’re pretty confident in our fundraising. We are in those economic times. Maybe before we would have gotten one commitment from a sponsor in full, now we may get the same commitment, but over two years. We’re prepared for that,” he said. “The consultation says success is going to be driven not just by corporate sponsors, but individuals as well. It is a community effort, and it is going to take all of us to get it done, not just the corporate sector, or the private sector or grants.”
    He adds that falling construction costs may help the project come in on budget.
    “If the funding pulls back a little, construction cost have already pulled back as well,” he said. “There are trade offs due to timing, and we still think we are at a good time to do this.”

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