Cold Lake City Council says two projects could use a little provincial help. Council decided at its meeting yesterday that both the Portage College Cold Lake Campus Expansion as well as the Regional CATSA-Screened Commercial Air Service Project both should be picked for grant money from property tax revenue on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.
Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson gave the city two options for how the money would be used. One would not allow input from the city.
“If the region cannot arrive at a consensus, then the Minister has said he will choose the projects himself. The city has several shovel-ready projects that will have a great and positive benefit on the entire region: The Minister’s only direction was that the projects be regional in scope.”
The Portage College expansion in Cold Lake has already seen government support. In 2017, the Province granted the college $1.1 million to fund the expansion’s design. The project will see expanded post-secondary opportunities for students across the region.
The Regional CATSA-Screened Commercial Air Service Project will allow for seamless air travel from CFB Cold Lake across Canada through a major hub. Mayor Copeland is excited for the idea of CFB Cold Lake becoming a travel hub with outlets pretty much anywhere.
“CATSA screening will deliver a level of air service our region has never enjoyed – it will be a game changer. Once you are on a CATSA-screened flight you will be able to connect through a major hub to other destinations across Canada, or the world. The economic impact this will have on our entire region cannot be understated.”
The Minister’s office did not outline how the $6 million of property tax revenue from the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range will be distributed. it did not offer any deadlines for applications or exactly how the decision will be made. The Minister’s letter did state that the projects are expected to be regional in their scope, and that the final decision will rest with Minister Anderson himself.
Mayor Copeland hopes to meet with Minister Anderson to discuss the funding as well as the ID-349 agreement in the future.