By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
On March 30, Magrath Council held a special short lunchtime council meeting to approve two Federal – Provincial Small Community Fund (SCF) grant applications totaling just over $2 million.
The SCF program, partners with local Alberta governments to invest in local infrastructure. The governments of Canada and Alberta have each committed $94 million to the SCF program. When combined with local government contributions, this program is expected to inject at least $282 million into Alberta’s local government infrastructure over the next 10 years.
Counc. VanEe made a motion to approve the Centre St. Improvement Project grant application in front of the schools, which would cost a total of $1 million 450-thousand.
“The idea behind the proposal is to receive funding to help with the infrastructure improvements along Centre St. in front of the schools, associated with the school modernization project,” explained CAO Wade Alston.
Upgrades would include enhancements to the potable water structure, fire hydrants, storm water collection, landscaping, parking and road improvements.
The grant is one third federal, provincial and municipal. As of now Magrath plans to match the grants with MSI money, but that may be changed to Gas Tax money, pointed out Alston during the meeting.
Municipalities with less than 100,000 people (according to the 2011 Statistics Canada Census) are eligible to apply for up to two projects that do not exceed $3 million per funding partner.
The second project that Magrath applied for was a $610-thousand potable water extension under Pothole Creek, heading south. If approved, the Town would be responsible for $203-thousand of the total project budget.
The project would bring drinking water to Jubilee Park, the Recycling Centre, the Fish Pond and the kiosk at the Irrigation Park.
“It will make potable water accessible to residents south of Pothole Creek for the first time. The addition would mark the first time that the Town of Magrath has extended potable water south of the creek,” said Alston.
Counc. Oliver made the motion in council chambers just after 12 p.m. Both motions were approved unanimously by the councilors in attendance, though Counc. Dahl, Counc. Godlonton and Counc. Beck were unable to attend the meeting.
“I think we have a real good shot on the Pothole Creek grant application,” said Alston after the meeting was adjourned. “But that depends on how many people apply.”
There is a committee that reviews the applications on a point basis and it goes from there to determine the projects that will have the greatest positive impact, relative to the projected total cost.
The last time the Town of Magrath received SCF grant funding was to help with the construction of the new water treatment plant.