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City pushes back funding requests from groups: “We’re really paralyzed right now”

Deputy Mayor Chris Vining chairs Tuesday’s meeting as councillor Jurgen Grau watches on. 

Cold Lake city council pushed back requests for funding from community groups at Tuesday’s council meeting because this year’s budget remains uncertain.

Ronald McDonald House Charities, Grand Centre Golf and Country Club and 2019 Operation Red Nose had their requests pushed for the second time, with plans to come back in March.

Although an interim budget passed, the $16 million in ID 349 funds from last year or the amount moving forward have not been released by the provincial government.

Deputy Mayor Chris Vining said the city council can’t contribute much until they know their own financials.

“There’s a lot of groups that are waiting to hear from us because they’re trying to go forward what their plans but we just can’t do anything,” he said on The Morning After.

“We’re really paralyzed right now. We’ve passed the interim budget, that’ll be good for the next few months to just move so basically, we can pay the bills.

“We’re waiting on the Minister [Municipal Affairs] to make a decision that we hope from our perspective is in the best interest of the residents of the City of Cold Lake,” he said.

The Morning After with the Deputy Mayor of Cold Lake Chris Vining.

Posted by Lakeland Connect on Thursday, January 16, 2020

The money uncertainty could hamper the city from acting on some of the calls to action Cold Lake resident Eleanor Evans brought to city council to make Cold Lake safer and more secure.

“We can move resources around within – and I think that’s kind of some of the conversations I was having after some counselors for when this comes back onto our plate – is to have a discussion about it or get some ideas from administration as to what we can do to kind of move some resources around to see if we can help you know, make a difference,” he said.

In the meantime, the City, along with Bonnyville, M.D. of Bonnyville, Fishing Lake Metis Settlement, Elizabeth Metis Settlement, and Glendon, wait for a final decision on ID 349.

“Talks are ongoing. We’re still going to keep on pushing, we’re still going to keep pushing forward what the City of Cold Lake is in our best interest and in the best interest of our ratepayers.”