OLDS — Town council has approved grants totalling $72,000 for projects to improve the community.
It’s the first step in a plan to set some profits aside from Mountain View Power for the benefit of the town, chief administrative officer Brent Williams told council.
Mountain View Power used to be a wing of the defunct Olds Institute. It’s now owned by the town through O-NET. It sells natural gas and electricity to homes and business in Olds and surrounding areas on behalf of UtilityNET, a Calgary based energy retailer.
During its May 23 meeting, town council approved a plan to distribute the grants to three applicants:
* Olds BGC (formerly known as the Boys and Girls Club of Olds and Area), $30,000 for construction of a youth centre space;
* Royal Canadian Legion Branch 105, $30,000 to help cover costs for roof repair; and
* Uptowne Olds, $12,000 for beautification and traffic improvements in the area.
Williams provided a breakdown of the three projects.
Williams said right now, Olds BGC has two major projects underway: expansion of its child care space, for which Williams said there is “desperate need” and the creation of a long-talked-about youth centre.
"BGC provides safe supportive places where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills for life," a town news release says.
"BGC Olds is an essential organization in our community for child, youth and family programming - additional childcare spaces are well used and consistently identified as a much-needed resource by citizens of Olds."
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 105 roof
“They had a rough winter, as did many flat roofs in the town of Olds,” Williams said.
He said the Legion plans to replace a portion of its roof for a total of $67,000.
“That facility is a major asset to the community, as we’re all aware,” Williams added.
"The building is being re-roofed for a more sound public facility that will continue to serve the community for many years to come," the town news release says.
"The Legion also supports veterans and many important causes in our town," it adds.
Uptowne Olds improvements
Williams said this project is being undertaken in conjunction with the town.
He said it’s an important step to “make our downtown more vibrant and work with those small businesses that are so important to everything we do here.”
"The objective of Uptowne Olds is to promote the Uptowne as the preferred place to live, work and shop. Uptowne Olds has created a vibrant community of businesses and events that attract many visitors to our town," the town news release says.
The beautification project calls for the purchase and installation of LED lights that will be wrapped around 50 per cent of street lights along 50th Avenue from Highway 27 to Centennial Park.
One suggested traffic improvement is a proposal is to increase the amount of angle parking in Uptowne.
Another is one discussed before: cutting the speed limit in Uptowne to increase safety.
Williams said that idea is expected to come to council “in the short term.”
Next uptake of applications
Williams said another uptake of community grant applications is expected to occur this fall.
By that time, he said, plans call for a local committee, including Mountain View Power customers, that will recommend potential grant recipients to council.
Williams offered to answer any questions council might pose on the grants but there were none.
A motion to approve the three grants passed easily.