Co-chair of the community facility Tony Lacher said they were holding their breath as they waited to see if this project would be accepted. Lacher heard last Thursday the project was eligible.
“It’s really good news,” said Lacher.
While Lacher is excited, he said there are still a number of steps in the process.
Mayor Bryce Nimmo was also enthusiastic the project received funding.
“We couldn’t be more happy,” said Nimmo.
He adds a special nod to Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson and MLA for Drumheller-Stettler Jack Hayden for their support of the project.
“There is no question we had good meetings with them, and their support was really encouraging, and it helped a lot,” said Nimmo.
He noted this is just one component of the project, and there is still a ways to go, especially in the area of fundraising.
The project has received $6 million from the Building Canada Fund. The Town has also raised $6 million in its reserves, and is planning to borrow $6 million.
“We're not going to have to increase anything tax-wise, or raise any more from the town-side to build this because we have had that in place for some time now,” said Nimmo.
Another $6 million is targeted through fundraising in the private sector, and is the main focus moving forward. This week Mayor Nimmo says the committee will be meeting to possibly appoint a fundraiser.
While these funds will get the ball rolling, Lacher says the committee is still pursuing more grants for the project including a regional infrastructure grant. This group of funding will be for the arena component.
“We need to nail down the fundraising before we go onto the drawing stage,” said Lacher.
The fundraising is as big a component as the grant. This (grant being awarded) is a good part of a half step forward. There are still a few things we need to do before design, and putting the shovel into the ground.”
Moving forward Nimmo said the design committee will begin to meet with stakeholders to identify needs to incorporate into the proposed facility.
“Another thing that is going to be interesting, is the design committee is going to come into their own. We will be approaching various organizations to find out what they want in the building, and that will begin to happen right away,” said Nimmo.
He adds committee members have researched facilities in other communities to see how they have proceeded on the construction of recreational facilities.