Cold Lake Council postpones decision on funding request for Lakeland Scuba Society

Due to liability concerns, council decided to postpone a decision on the request.

During the May 14 regular council meeting discussion, CAO Kevin Nagoya summarized the society's needs, saying, "You can see in the presentation they described that they were looking for help sustainability-wise to continue on with their organization... In order to dive, they need help with being able to fill up bottles and the pumps that are necessary for them.”

Nagoya also highlighted the financial constraints. “These types of things do cost money, but you can see here within the report, this was a pass on from the community grant advisory committee because it didn't really fit in anywhere in regard to the ask. That being said, it could fit under the equipment grant.”

Coun. Chris Vining expressed his reservations, stating, “The problem I have with the end of the agreement is because they don't have matching funds, right? I'm just concerned with, I guess, putting money out that we're not sure where it's going to go.”

At the April 23 regular council meeting, Ken Squire a representative from the Lakeland Scuba Society proposed that if council provided funding for equipment, the club could clean up the lake for events like Canada Day and Aqua Days.

Coun. Ryan Bailey suggested a fee-for-service model, proposing, "Maybe it becomes just part of the Aqua Days budget, as a cleanup fund of whatever administration is able to negotiate as a contract."

Ultimately, Nagoya recommended postponing the decision, citing liability concerns and the need for a more comprehensive solution.

“When you're hiring a contractor to do scuba work, there's a whole different liability aspect," he explained.

Mayor Craig Copeland ended the discussion, agreeing that a decision should be made when more information is available.

Council made a motion to postpone the decision and will revisit the Lakeland Scuba Society's funding request at a future meeting.

Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lakeland This Week