The Leader Community Hall, a main hub of activity in the community, will benefit from $45,300 in funding from the federal government.
Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson visited the Town of Leader Feb. 22 to announce $45,300 of support to upgrade the community hall. Funding for the project was provided through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
“We recognize that there’s room for improvement in the facility and I’m pleased to announce today that $45,300 will be invested in upgrading the Community Hall through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. We are pleased to be able to partner with your community to be able to do that,” Anderson said will announcing the funding.
Rochelle Francis, Town Administrator, thanked MP Anderson and the Federal Government for “having the foresight to making this investment in our community.”
The grant is being used to install a multi-functional synthetic type of flooring called Pulastic in the main area of the hall, installed by Centaur Products of Saskatoon. The floor is eco friendly, utilizing recycled tires for the shock pad base layer, and features a seamless and durable topcoat that offers surface friction suitable for most indoor sports and recreation.
“The kitchen will also be receiving a much-needed facelift,” added Francis. “There will be new cupboard doors, counter tops, a new gas range and ventilation system, a new refrigerator and dishwasher. Previous to this, all but these three windows had been replaced, so we’ve also included that.”
The grant became available through the federal government’s Economic Action Plan 2012, in which the creation of the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, commonly known as CIIF, was announced. It provides approximately $150 million across the country over two years, about $46 million of which is earmarked for western Canada, with about $400,000 of that money available to projects in Anderson’s Cypress Hills-Grasslands riding.
“I had a chance to stop in here a couple of months ago and visit with Rochelle and she was very vocal about the project here and the fact that it’s used not just by the community here but by communities around the area, and she was enthusiastic about the program and the fact that we could help out here with that,” Anderson explained.
The CIIF supports projects that improve existing community infrastructure in facilities that are accessible for use by the public, such as community centres, recreational buildings, local arenas, cultural and other types of structures.
“Upgrades to Leader's Community Hall have been on Town Council's list of projects for a number of years; however, there was never enough capital to complete a big upgrade. Our hall is a hub of constant activity, not only for the residents of Leader but the surrounding area as well. With the federal funding, the upgrades and improvements will take our facility into the future years,” Leader’s Deputy Mayor, Jo-Ann Tetlock, stated in a press release.
The grand opening of the Leader Community Hall was held on Sept. 28, 1982. However, the hall had been in use since Nov. 1981 and had hosted 60 functions in the first 10 months it was open.
"The community hall is the centre of activity in our community,” Francis pointed out, adding that in 2012 the community hall hosted an activity 226 out of the 365 days it was available, thanks largely to the efforts of Debbie Hintz, Recreation Director.
"We believe that it will serve to enhance the experiences and services that are provided by the hall," said Anderson, "and that it’s going to support the long-term stability of your community of Leader. I’m just very happy to be here today to share that with you."