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Fort Macleod council approves agreements with Fort Museum, Empress Theatre

Two organizations will receive steady funding from the Town of Fort Macleod for three years to provide for long-term planning.
Council last week approved a memorandum of understanding for both the Empress Theatre and Fort Museum.
“This is really about commitment and continuity,” Town of Fort Macleod chief administrative officer Sue Keenan said. “It allows these community groups to do some planning.”
Council will provide $125,000 to the Fort Museum and $75,000 to the Empress Theatre each year from 2016-’18.
The Fort Museum gets $100,000 for operations and $25,000 for providing tourist information services for the community.
Council had discussed during its budget deliberations entering into a three-year agreement with both groups.
Coun. Gord Wolstenholme wondered what happens if the two groups don’t spend their allotments.
“I haven’t met a community group yet, and I’ve worked in the business for 30 years, that’s never not needed the money,” Keenan said. “It’s a rarity.”
Wolstenholme also asked what happens if either group needs more money.
“If they need more they can bring a special request to council,” Keenan said. “As it stands right now, in the consultations that occurred, both those groups know that this is the maximum they’re going to get for the next three years.”
“Unless there is something catastrophic that happens that they didn’t plan for, that would be a little bit different,” Keenan added. “They’ve got their budgeting in order and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I can’t guarantee it won’t happen, but they would have to come before council and plead their case.”
Coun. Trish Hoskin supported council approving the agreements.
“I think this is really good for them,” Hoskin said. “It will help with their planning.”