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Macleod council commits $100,000 to arena project

Town council will assist a group spearheading the renovation of main floor lobbies at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
Council agreed Oct. 11 to allocate $100,000 to the nearly half a million dollar project.
The Town of Fort Macleod’s contribution is about 20 per cent of the total cost.
“That’s a fairly good deal for the municipality,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.
The project includes new washrooms, handicap access and a new concession area to serve both the hockey and curling arenas.
Committee members Scott Norlin and Judy Walde appeared as a delegation at the Oct. 11 council meeting.
“We are here today looking for your financial support for the Fort Macleod arena project,” Norlin said.
Norlin told council MPE Engineering Ltd. will have project drawings ready by the end of November.
The tender will be issued in January, with work on the six-month project to begin the first week of April.
“It will just get done in time for the next hockey and curling seasons,” Norlin said.
The committee was seeking $100,000 apiece from the Town of Fort Macleod and MD of Willow Creek councils.
The committee will also apply for a $125,000 provincial Community Facility Enhancement Program grant.
Minor Hockey and the curling club will each contribute $25,000, and the committee intends to seek about $20,000 from local service clubs and other grant programs.
The committee earlier received $80,000 in Municipal Sustainability Program funding from the Town of Fort Macleod and MD of Willow Creek.
Norlin told council the committee is researching provincial and federal grants that assist with improving wheelchair access to public facilities.
If the committee is successful in finding that kind of funding, the amount required from the Town of Fort Macleod and MD of Willow Creek will be reduced.
“This project can’t happen without your support and the MD’s support,” Norlin said.
The committee intends to make a similar appeal for funding to MD of Willow Creek council at its meeting Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Walde noted the arena lobby is now 40 years old and due to be upgraded.
“I think it’s a very good project to bring to town,” Walde said.
Coun. Trevor Curran asked what plans the committee has if the Community Facility Enhancement Program grant application is not approved before the project is to start.
“I think we would have to come back and ask you guys if you would fund it for a year or two,” Norlin said.
Town council provided similar up-front funding to help the renovation of the community hall move forward.
Later in the meeting council decided to commit financial support to the project.
“We’ve got a whole group of people volunteering their time to spearhead this,” Coun. Sharan Randle noted.
Council will take the $100,000 from an unallocated reserve fund.

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