Town council looking for “missing” millions

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  • Aug. 30, 2011 7:00 a.m.

By Treena Mielke

An alleged allegation by a former councillor that the Town of Rimbey has a cool $5 million in a bank account they aren’t talking about has prompted town officials to seek the advice of their lawyer.

Although no one seems to be sure when or where he said it, Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson and Coun. Joe Anglin agree Wayne Clark has alleged the town received $5 million grant from the province to go toward the proposed ethylene plant.

“We are sending him letter asking him to clarify that statement,” said Ibbotson. “We are doing it as due diligence to clarify the matter.”

Coun. Joe Anglin agreed.

“We are just trying to put this thing to bed,” he said. “And in order for our lawyer to do that we have to get everything in writing.”

Clark denied the allegation.

“The Town of Rimbey never, ever received $5 million for the proposed ethanol plant. Public record shows that Aspen Bio-Energy Corp received a grant of $5 million under the bio-energy program.”

He said this information is available at www.energy.alberta.ca/bioenergy

The April 15, 2008 edition of the Rimbey Review states: ‘A proposed new bio-energy plant in Rimbey took a giant step forward last week with the announcement that a $5 million loan from the provincial government to the Aspen Bio-Energy Corporation has been approved.’

The story goes on to say that the loan was one of 15 that were granted through the government’s Bio-refining Commercialization and Market Development Program and the Bio-energy Infrastructure Development Program. Aspen Bio-Energy Corporation is the principal investor in the project.

An article in the June 8, 2009 edition of the Red Deer Advocate states the Town of Rimbey revealed five years ago it was working to attract a world class ethanol plant.

Details slowly emerged, including the fact that the plant would consume cellulosic materials such as straw and municipal waste.