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Innisfail Solar Farm funds supporting disadvantaged residents

New Fee Assistance Program aimed at helping citizens get access to wide range of activities
MVP Innisfail solar farm
Part of Innisfail's new solar farm, created by Vancouver-based Elemental Energy. Through money from the company's community development fund, a new Fee Assistance Program will help financially challenged local citizens have access to many community programs. File Photo/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL – The town has launched a new Fee Assistance Program designed to help financially challenged local citizens participate in arts, culture, wellness and recreation activities.

The program, which began in January, provides up to $200 for each eligible resident to be used toward activity fees or membership costs. This assistance can also be used toward items that provide greater access to the community, such as bus passes.

The new initiative was made possible through a financial contribution from Innisfail Solar Corporation/Elemental Energy, a Vancouver-based company that created the new solar farm in the northwest corner of Innisfail.

The Innisfail Solar Farm began operations in July of 2020.

“The contribution from the Innisfail Solar Farm will have a lasting impact on many of our residents," said Mayor Jim Romane. "The Fee Assistance Program is just one way that Elemental Energy has demonstrated their commitment to being a long-term part of our community."

Through an agreement with the Town of Innisfail, Elemental Energy is contributing $20,000 annually to a community development fund, a portion of which provides the funding for the Fee Assistance Program.

“Elemental Energy is thrilled to contribute to the Town of Innisfail’s Fee Assistance Program,” said Jamie Houssian, principal at Elemental Energy. "It will give Innisfail residents experiencing financial hardship the opportunity to enjoy all the different activities that the town offers to the community . . . and for years to come."

Eligible applicants or households include those receiving unemployment benefits, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) or those falling below the federal government's low-income cut-offs (LICOs)

Applications can be made at any time and will be reviewed by the town's community services department.

Applicants must be a resident of the Town of Innisfail. The program is open to all ages. Application forms are available through the town's website.