By Adam Eisenbarth
A Rimbey Agricultural Society project took a big stride forward at a Ponoka County Council meeting July 20.
After making a presentation to county council, president Stan Goetz was pleased as he watched councillors pass a motion to pledge $200,000 to purchase land for a new agricultural building.
“I’m very happy and very grateful.”
The land is owned by the Rimbey Co-op.
“We’re planning on building a bigger riding arena to facilitate the ongoing events that come up.”
Goetz says the new building will open many opportunities that once bypassed the town for bigger facilities.
“The building that we have now is better than nothing but there’s a lot of events that we can’t host because of the size of it. If you’re going to stay in the business you have to stay up with what the times are.”
The Rimbey High School Rodeo earlier this year was one example. Due to heavy rain, the event was forced to move all the way to an arena east of Ponoka.
The ag society expects to be a much bigger player if the new building is complete.
“We should be able to take on some pretty big shows and events and draw in people who hopefully come to the community and spend money in the community.”
Plans are early for the centre, but now that money is in place, the process is beginning to take shape.
“We’ve got some prices and a bunch of us are going to be going around to look at buildings. The first plan was to get the land bought and now we’ll take the second step and get more serious about looking at buildings now and start preparing the dirt work.”
While the decision has yet to be made on what type of building will be constructed, it is expected to be a significant upgrade.
“The building we’re looking at is a very nice building. We have some people that are going to help us out on it and they’ve given us a good price. We’re expecting it to be a very nice building.”
Goetz is hopeful that construction will begin next year.
The purpose of the society and the planned building are to promote agriculture, something Goetz says is needed more than ever.
“It’s sad to say that a lot of the family farms are dwindling but I’ve never heard anyone say they were going to go to town to drink a quart of oil for dinner, they always want to go for a burger or plate of grub that’s grown from the farmers.”
The society is considering selling a parcel of land to offset costs of the building.