By Cole Parkinson
The Vauxhall Ag Society was looking for some financial support as they bring back electrical service to the riding facility.
During M.D. of Taber council’s regular meeting on Aug. 13, councillors were brought up to speed at what the request was and what progress had been made at the facility in recent years.
“This is the site of the old rodeo grounds in Vauxhall, just three sections to the east of the town,” explained Brian Peers, director of municipal lands and leases.
The lease for the Vauxhall rodeo grounds/riding arena was secured with the Ag Society in August of 2014 after they took it over from the Vauxhall Saddle Club who used to host rodeos but with increasing costs and an ageing volunteer base decided to move on.
Now, the ag society holds events at the facility such as barrel racing events, team roping twice per week in the summer, “Wild Pink Yonder” cancer fundraising trail ride, a gymkhana event and several 4-H events.
“This latest request from them is just to ask the M.D. if they would be willing to partner with getting power service installed there. There was a power service there at one point when the lease was with the (Vauxhall Saddle Club). When they left there was mostly fees that we were being charged but no one was there,” said Peers.
The electrical installation by Fortis came to a total of $4,371 and the society submitted a letter in late July asking for as much as the M.D. could provide.
Yearly, the M.D. provides the ag society with $1,500 per year through recreation funding.
Other money comes from provincial funding through the Alberta Agricultural Societies Program and they also operate a casino through the Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
“They’ve done good work there and it’s kept fairly active. It is open to the public for a membership to their association,” added Peers. “It’s a busy place and they have done lots of improvements as far as planting trees, some bleachers and infrastructure there.”
Other improvements made since taking over the lease include installation of bucking chutes, washroom facilities and water pipeline infrastructure.
The ag society’s financials were also in front of council and Peers stated they looked good moving forward.
“I think what they have been doing there has been good. They keep trying to improve and they have lots of projects,” said Coun. Leavitt Howg.
On top of their work as the ag society, their work in the community was also pointed out.
As one of the premier groups in the Vauxhall community, council were also informed of how they dish out financial help to a variety of different benefactors.
“The ag society as a whole in the community of Vauxhall is a place where small groups go to for funding and sponsorship. They are one of those unique groups like the Lions. Any time there is a youth group that needs funding or sponsorship, they are very supportive,” said Coun. Jen Crowson, who is also on the Vauxhall ag society board.
A motion was made to provide 50 per cent funding ($2,185.50) for the project and was carried unanimously.
Another ag society related topic council dived into was the lease agreement which is due to expire on Feb. 28, 2020.
Peers affirmed a five-year term would be agreeable for the M.D. and he would bring that forward to the ag society.
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