In this message I’d like to shed some light on council’s decision regarding funding for the Hanna SPCA. A number of years ago the SPCA approached Council with a request for funding as they were having difficulty keeping up with their expenses. Council at the time realized that the SPCA were a valuable asset to the town, in assisting our Director of Protective Services by housing and feeding stray dogs and starting a program to address our stray cat concerns. This allowed the Director to deal with other operations within his department. Seeing the value of the services provided by the SPCA, Council decided to provide an annual operating grant of $5,000. For several years the SPCA continued to receive the operating grant, until 2013, when they reached out to Council with concerns that they may not be able to continue as their funding was falling short of their expenses. The Council at that time decided to increase the grant to $15,000. This enabled the SPCA to continue operating normally. The grant remained at that level for 2014 as well.
Early in 2015, representatives from the Hanna SPCA came to council to provide an update on their operations. During that presentation their financial statements showed that, due to working a casino, they had received a healthy sum of money and their financial position was very strong. Council debated at length as to the amount of money we would grant the organization for 2015 and it was decided that we would reduce the funding to $5,000 for this year. I want to make it clear that this amount is only for 2015. Council will receive an update from the SPCA before we work on our budget each year and will decide at that time how much grant funding will be allocated for that year. The budget process is always Council’s most arduous task. It is very difficult to decide which funding to cut, and which funding to increase or add to our budget. Having updates from organizations as to their financial position and their operations certainly helps us to make our decisions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SPCA and all of their volunteers for all of the good work that they do.
On another budget update, Council approved a project to upgrade our water supply along Fox Lake Trail. This project was identified through the infrastructure management study that was completed in 2014. The project will include looping a 300mm water line in two places between 3rd Street West and Golf Course Crescent. This will help to increase pressure to those areas of town, especially in the case of a fire where water pressures would fall dramatically. The project also includes refurbishing the road from Argue Drive east to Pioneer Trail. The budgeted cost of this project is approximately $1,000,000.
If you are interested in looking at the Infrastructure Management Study, it is available on our website for download, or you can visit the Town office. This is an excellent document which greatly assists Council during the budget process and when applying for grant funding.
Mayor, Town of Hanna