Town decides on ICIP priorities

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A new fine arts facility made the top of Bonnyville’s priority list for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

Council discussed what they would submit for the ICIP grant during their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 10.

They agreed to present an expression of interest for a fine arts facility for the Aug. 1 deadline, and will follow-up with detailed plans, funding, and possible partnership exploration as details emerge.

The town decided to present only one project for now, but will send an expression of interest for a new aquatics facility for the second deadline in November.

Having two deadlines gives the province time to choose which projects to submit to the federal government for final approval.

“I would rather have really strong plans down to show the provincial government that we have a really strong application,” expressed Coun. Elisa Brosseau.

Councillors agreed the arts facility was the stronger project to pitch, and will work on the second application.

Coun. Brian McEvoy wanted to move forward with both projects, but agreed the aquatics centre could wait.

He added, “Let’s start with the one that we’re prepared for, and then prepare the other one to try it that way.”

Council plans to reach out to community groups in order to strengthen their proposal for the fine arts facility pitch.

To determine what projects residents wanted prioritized, council conducted a survey to ask the community for ideas and help them reach a decision.

According to the results, participants wanted a fine arts facility and an aquatics recreational facility, however expanding the C2, a dog park, and an outdoor skating rink were also top options.

The projects submitted will be ranked by the province, top priority options will be recommended to the federal government for funding. From those options, some proposals will receive final approval to receive federal dollars this year.

The purpose of the grant is to improve access and increase quality in cultural, recreational, and community infrastructures.

In order to qualify for grant funding, projects must include expanding community centres and cultural recreational installments, community, culture, and recreation projects that are open for use to the public.

As part of the ICIP, Alberta will receive $159.6-million for rural and northern community projects over the next 10 years from the federal government.

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