More budgeting requests are being presented to Rimbey’s town council, including one from the Rimbey Historical Society.
At council’s Jan. 28 meeting the historical society asked council for $10,000, to add to the $78,000 they have in the bank.
Pauline Hansen, who presented the request to town council, says the money is needed to help pay for Pas Ka Poo Park and the museums because money they’ll use from funds given to them by the county, as well as money from the spirit and the casino but it won’t be enough to cover all expenses, some from the previous year.
Hansen told council last year’s operating budget for the park was approximately $50,000. “It’s a little hard for our society, we do do very well on the fact that we have been able to keep up what buildings we do have with the labour that we do have.”
Hansen, and the society’s president, Harold Kenny, say the labour isn’t able to keep up with the demands of the park because the volunteer force is aging faster than new volunteers are being attracted.
With the volunteers aging Hansen feels, although they still combine to a total of 4, 563 hours, the hours they work are less productive than they used to be.
“You know, the boys are getting slower. There are some jobs we can’t get done on our own; it takes longer to get done. We’re finding now a rainy day isn’t a day to do anything.”
“We’re finding out that some of our funds are going to have to go to wages in order for trades people to help us get some of the projects done. So that’s really going to tap into our funds that we have,” she added.
Kenny pointed out the problem wasn’t a lack of volunteer hours. “What we’re really talking about here is maintaining the current level of recreation that we have at the park.”
Coun. Gayle Rondeel asked Hansen and Kenny if there were ways the town would be able to help find younger volunteers and retain the current ones, such as support programs and training.
“You bet. We’ll take any help we can get from the town and we welcome any suggestions you have to increase our volunteer base,” said Kenny.
Previously, the society bought a $400 ad asking for more volunteers and received one offer for help at the show and shine.
“One last point I’d like to make is the current level of funding we are receiving from the town has been at this level for several years now, and I think we even have to account for inflation,” said Kenny.
Like with other requests for funding, council deferred making a decision until budget time.