Lieutenant Governor to visit Lacombe next week

Sod-turning ceremony launches Habitat for Humanity project

For the very first time, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta will be officially visiting the City of Lacombe.

Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell will be visiting on Aug. 21st.

Mitchell will be attending a sod-turning ceremony to mark the construction of the first Habitat for Humanity housing project in the City.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the ceremony to welcome the Lieutenant Governor and find out more about the new housing project in Lacombe.

MP Blaine Calkins, MLA Ron Orr and City of Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie will also be in attendance for the special occasion.

Habitat for Humanity Red Deer Executive Director Brian Brake said the Lieutenant Governor was invited as a guest of honour as she is interested in projects that better the community and improve the lives of families.

“This is significant because it’s the first official visit of the Lieutenant Governor to the City of Lacombe,” he said. “We would like to get the word out to as many people as possible to come out for the ceremony. They will have a chance to get a picture and chat with the Lieutenant Governor.”

Habitat for Humanity Red Deer is a not-for-profit organization that works towards creating sustainable affordable housing in the Central Alberta area. The organization will be building four units (two duplexes) in the MacKenzie Ranch subdivision of Lacombe over this next year.

Previously, the organization has constructed one home per year in the region but Brake wants to increase the amount to around 10 homes per year. With around 160 qualified families in the Red Deer region, the four units planned for Lacombe will assist in meeting the low-income housing needs of the community.

In June, the City of Lacombe entered into an agreement with Habitat for Humanity Red Deer for a $300,000 grant contribution from the City’s affordable housing project. Brake said the grant funds will cover for the costs of the land but more funds are still needed to construct the four homes.

“We are going to start giving contracts out here this week,” he said in regards to the construction. “We expect that we will be able to put the floors and the walls up on it in October. We hope to have it locked down before the snow flies, so we can work on it all winter.”

As per the Habitat for Humanity family selection process, a public gathering will be held next month in order to select the four families for the homes.

“We will start that process in September which will give us time to work with the City to come up with four families for these homes and that will give them the time to work off their volunteer hours before they move in next August,” said Brake.

The Lieutenant Governor will also be visiting Red Deer the same evening for Habitat for Humanity Red Deer’s first annual formal garden party.

The unique fundraiser event will be held at Parkland Nurseries and will feature a Top Chef Central Alberta competition along with musical entertainment from St. James’ Gate and the Red Deer College music faculty group Downtown.

Brake said the goal of the event is to assist with the cost of the 2015 Habitat for Humanity build, including the new Lacombe project.

The organization is still seeking donations for the silent auction along with sponsorship. The Lacombe sod turning ceremony will be held on Aug. 21st at 2:30 p.m. at 2 Ranchers Cl. in the MacKenzie Ranch subdivision.

For more information about the Habitat for Humanity project in Lacombe or the garden party, contact Brake at 403-309-6080.

news@lacombeexpress.com