Province grants county $2.67M for school prep under municipal stimulus program

·2 min read

The County of Grande Prairie will receive $2.67 million from the Alberta government to service the future Five Mile Hall school site.

The county applied for the funding this summer through the municipal stimulus program, intended to create local jobs and help communities move toward economic growth.

“This initiative will not only benefit the County of Grande Prairie but the school board and the students as well,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre.

“This funding will help with the building of the new Harry Balfour School (replacement).”

The Alberta government is providing $500 million to communities across the province under the municipal stimulus program.

Of that, the county was eligible for $2.67 million, Beaverlodge $293,012, Sexsmith $311,437, Hythe $98,000 and Wembley $180,206.

The county is required to service school sites and county council tabled a borrowing bylaw this summer for the project, Beaupre said.

The county indicated Five Mile Hall-area servicing was its first choice for the grant, but if the province rejected the project the county hoped to use the dollars to expand the Clairmont landfill.

While the Clairmont landfill won’t receive municipal stimulus dollars, the 2021 interim county budget includes $4.7 million for the expansion, she added.

County council gave the first of three necessary readings to a $6.5 million borrowing bylaw to service the Five Mile Hall-area site with water and sewer a few weeks ago, Beaupre said.

During a recent meeting council also voted to add $298,000 for power and gas, bringing the potential borrowing up to approximately $6.8 million. Due to the municipal stimulus funding, the borrowed funds may be lowered to up to $4.23 million, she said.

The borrowing bylaw will go back to council when county administration has a better idea of the additional servicing costs, likely soon before or after the new year, Beaupre said.

Servicing may be complete in the summer of 2021, according to county communications.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News