By Scott Schmidt
Alberta Newspaper Group
Redcliff’s town council ran through a fairly light agenda last week to close out May, with a couple presentations highlighting the evening.
The Cypress View Foundation was on hand running through the basics of what it does in the community, as at least a few members of council would be hearing from the organization for the first time.
“Basically, they were just bringing everyone up to speed on who and what they are,” Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick told the Cypress Courier. “We contribute, along with Cypress County and Medicine Hat, to help keep them operational, because they supply accommodations to a lot of low-income seniors — so they are tax-assisted.”
First-term Coun. Shawna Gale has been sitting on the board, and other members of council have dealt with the group before, but Kilpatrick says Cypress View was simply looking to refresh itself with local government.
Cypress View’s local level of government funding might not be a concern right now, as Redcliff’s portion of that assistance is not up for review at this time, but there are questions following the recent provincial election that will have to be answered by the UCP’s next budget.
“I think the threat of provincial cuts is heavy on a lot of people’s minds that rely on tax-based funding,” Kilpatrick said. “I’m not saying that’s why they came — they came to let us know that they’re still out there, still worthy, and that in some of their aspects, things are going well.
“Just an information session.”
Richard Oster and Theresa Hardiker of the newly named Verge Economic Development team were also in attendance to make a presentation with council. The group, which until recently was known as the Economic Development Association, is seeking an increase in support over the next four years.
“Economic development is one of the hardest things to scale and rate — you don’t know whether it’s good, bad or ugly,” Kilpatrick said. “You have wins, you have losses.
“They did what they could to keep things optimistic, and (presented) what their future goals are, and then, of course, what their future expenses could look like.”
The mayor says the information presented will be forwarded to budget talks, as council doesn’t debate or decide mid-year on funding of this nature. He says decisions on funding for Verge will come among those council will look at in November.
“If (before then) we say, ‘Oh, that’s a good thing, put that in the budget,’ and, ‘Oh, that’s a good thing, we’ll put that in the budget,’ by the time somebody does the collective math, you may just find out you’ve OK’d a whole bunch of things you can’t afford.
“You have to be looking at the whole picture when you’re budgeting.”