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Preventive social programs awarded 2014 funding

Airdrie City Council Briefs:

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Dec 19, 2013 10:28 am

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Airdrie City council approved a motion to allocate $759,000 to the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Program for preventive social programs on Dec. 16.

Clay Aragon, Airdrie FCSS coordinator, spoke to council about the FCSS mandate, allocation options and the process that the Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB) underwent to make the funding recommendation.

“This year, the City restructured how its Social Planning department is being funded,” said Aragon. “It lowered the City’s FCSS Plus (over contribution) in the FCSS Program. The net result of this realignment was an additional $64,500 in FCSS funds being reallocated in community preventive social programs.”

Community Links is the biggest beneficiary of this funding, and will be allocated nearly $450,000 between its Family and Resource Program, Family and Group Counseling, Airdrie Seniors Outreach Program, and Volunteer, Information and Referral Program.

Volunteer Airdrie, the organization that trains and assigns much of the city’s volunteer base will receive $44,000.

“I’m a huge believer in helping our community partners provide quality preventive social services,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “We truly appreciate all of the hard work these organizations do and the tremendous value they add to our community.”

Other organizations that will receive FCSS funding include: Airdrie Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Sisters of Calgary and Area, Airdrie Food Bank, Airdrie Meals on Wheels, and Airdrie and District Victim Assistance Society.

Boys and Girls Club lease

The Airdrie Boys and Girls Club’s (BGC) west location at 1003 Allen Street will remain the organization’s home for its youngest members for another five years.

Airdrie City council voted unanimously in favour of extending the lease agreement at a cost of $10 per year for five more years at the location that serves children ages six to 12.

Airdrie BGC Executive Director Denisa Sanness appeared before council, explaining the importance of the club being able to maintain two locations (the other is located at the Ron Ebbeson Arena).

“Having two locations allows us to meet the separate needs of our kids,” said Sanness. “A six or seven-year-old child has very different needs than a 16 year old.”

She added that the five-year term was integral to the organization making improvements to their westside facility, as the original lease extension was slated for just one year.

“It’s hard for us to attract developers if we want to make improvements to the building when we’re only on a one-year lease,” said Sanness. “With a five-year lease we know we have a home for a while and we can make improvements like putting in new carpet or building an addition.”

Alderman Fred Burley spoke in support of the five-year extension, noting that the City had not received any interest from developers in the property.

“No one came forward and showed interest in the space, so I would have no problem giving this lease extension that the Boys and Girls Club is requesting,” said Burley.

Highland Park

Council unanimously approved final readings of two land use bylaws that will redesignate land at 937 and 949 Highland Park Boulevard NE to accommodate the development of a UFA (United Farmers of Alberta) compound.

The complex will include a card lock and bulk fuel storage facility, a retail store and outside storage.

UFA’s current Airdrie location is at 613 Edmonton Trail and does not have a card lock operation, which is a specialized fueling area for those with a UFA card and user specific PIN.

The redesignation will transition the land from an IB-1 (Industrial Business) zone to a DC (Direct Control) zone to align with site specific standards for uses such as underground fuel storage and environmental best practices.

Site developers, representatives from UFA and City staff can now move forward with a site development plan in terms of traffic and transportation considerations, site layout and landscaping.


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