Council okays grant applications, defines scope
The scope and components of Drumheller’s future community facility have been set and approved by council, bringing the town closer to the reality of an indoor gymnasium/fieldhouse, community centre, and the relocation of the public library. Co-chair of the Steering Committee, Tony Lacher, made a presentation to council February 17,
recommending Town Council apply for funding from the provincially and federally co-funded Building Canada Fund for three components of the facility; a multi-use gymnasium/field house with an indoor child area, a multi-functional community centre, and the relocation of the library to the new facility. Lacher said the prevalent feeling gathered from the public information sessions in early February was residents of Drumheller would like the project to move forward “as quickly as possible.” This reinforces the 2008 Census Survey results stating 74 per cent of Drumheller residents support the development of facilities as soon as the town can. The committee wishes to apply for grants as soon as possible, to get the town’s foot in the door to cover the estimated 27 per cent, or $6 million, needed in grant money. Also recommended by the committee, was for council to apply for a Recreational Infrastructure Canada Grant, which would fund up to 50 per cent of the cost to build another sheet of ice in the facility. Council stressed the motion made on Tuesday was strictly for grants only. “We don’t yet have a design for the facility, but we just want to get our foot in for grants before anyone else does,” councillor Bertamini said after the presentation. Mayor Nimmo told The Mail he had recently spoke to both MP for the Crowfoot Constituency Kevin Sorenson, and Jack Hayden, MLA for the Drumheller-Stettler region. “Both are enthusiastic about the project, and both know the town needs this facility so badly,” Nimmo said. “Both will be instrumental in getting support for grant programs and influencing and encouraging government on behalf of their constituents." Lacher had said the committee expressed the urgency to act on the construction of a facility due to the announcement of several provincial and federal grant programs, for cultural, sporting and recreational infrastructure projects. Of these grants, the committee will apply immediately for funding from the Building Canada Grant program, and also cited four other grants that could be eventually applied for, including two provincial grants, the Scott Seaman rink project and a federal grant. Linde Turner, head librarian at the public library, said a move to the new facility would be wonderful as they are in need of more space. “We have so many formats now, magazines, computers, CDs, we are enthusiastic about the idea,” Turner said. Lacher said because of the result of the public information process and the looming deadlines for the completion of grant applications, the Steering Committee recommended council should proceed as quickly as possible on these projects. Council approved the committee’s project scope and the next steps to submit grant applications. Councillor Sharel Shoff asked Lacher what the step after grant applications would be, to which he replied the committee will continue to work on designing the building, communications, and fundraising. The group must raise funds of an estimated $5.5 million, while the Town of Drumheller has set aside reserves to cover another $5.2 million. Lacher said the public meetings held early this month were well attended, with over 90 residents attending. “There were a few additional needs that were identified, but overall the steering committee is on the right path,” Lacher said.