Express file photo

Express file photo

City council approves creation of Community Builder Partnership Grant

Lacombe City council approved a revised Community Builder Partnership Policy, based on a recommendation from the Lacombe and District Recreation, Parks, and Culture Board.

The updated Community Builder Partnership Grant consolidates the current Community Builder Partnership Grant with the Recreation and Culture Grant to allow more flexibility to applicants, while minimizing presentations to council for minor funding requests.

The Grant will allow the Lacombe & District Recreation, Parks, and Culture Board to approve requests below $10,000 for capital projects, programming, and events. Requests above that threshold will be vetted through the Lacombe and District Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Board, with recommendations made to City council for final approval.

“Council is excited to offer new opportunities to our community through the revised Community Builder Partnership Policy,” Mayor Grant Creasey said.

“By combining previous funding models and including the potential for one-time signature events, we are maximizing the investment made by our citizens back into their community.”

The proposed change means grant funding can be applied flexibly via a combination of in-kind and financial support, as well as scaffolded over a maximum three-year period. The goal is to promote and support independent operations by allowing the applicant first to build a solid base of consistent users.

Events requiring financial and volunteer investment, like music festivals, major concerts, sporting events (i.e., tournaments, rallies), and speaking engagements, are now eligible for funding.

These changes are intended to support council’s strategic goal of attracting larger regional events to the community.

The Community Builder Partnership Policy was originally approved in June 2012 and has funded several projects including:

• 2017 – Lacombe Athletic Park Association – $43,750.00 (basketball courts)

• 2019 – Lacombe Performing Arts Centre – $143,937.50 (property acquisition)

• 2022 – Lacombe & District Historical Society – $20,398.73 (archival storage)

• 2023 – Lacombe Fish & Game Association – $75,000.00 (accessible dock)

The amended grant program combines the budgeted $50,000 from the Community Builder Partnership Fund and $20,000 from the Recreation and Culture Grant with an additional $30,000 for a total of $100,000 in one unified fund.

A maximum of $50,000 per year can be allocated for programs and events and preference will be given to opportunities in alignment with council’s Strategic Plan and those that address gaps identified in the Community Needs Assessment (planned for 2023).

This reorganization and increasing mandate of the Grant will further empower the Lacombe Recreation, Parks, and Culture Board to foster innovative community programming opportunities.

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