By Stephen Dafoe
Sturgeon County – County Council voted unanimously Tuesday morning to donate $10,000 to the Red Cross for the Slave Lake relief efforts. In presenting the request for decision, Sturgeon County Commissioner Chris Micek said the idea had strong support among county staff, many of whom have family in the community.
Originally presented to County Council by Micek as a request for a $2,500 donation, Division 5 Councillor Joe Milligan suggested raising the amount to $10,000, an amount councillors unanimously agreed with.
Division 1 Councillor Don McGeachy recommended council revisit the idea prior to the summer recess or in the fall when council returns to see if there was not more Sturgeon County could do to assist.
“It is pretty horrific what is taking place there,” McGeachy said. “It is something that is going to be addressed at least by the residents for many years to come.”
Beyond the immediate financial donation, councillors offered other suggestion on how Sturgeon County could help.
Division 2 Councillor Tom Flynn suggested the possibility of Sturgeon County donating two seniors’ vans that are to be retired and sold at auction. Administration will look into the idea further and report back to council.
Milligan suggested Sturgeon County’s libraries could be contacted to donate books to the Slave Lake Public Library, destroyed in the May 16 fire. The Morinville Public Library has already begun the process of assisting by taking up a financial collection from patrons to purchase books for the library when it is ready to re-establish itself.
Division 6 Councillor Karen Shaw said Sturgeon County’s donation of $10,000 could be used as opportunity to challenge other municipalities in the province to meet or beat the amount of the donation.