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Possible false start to Summer Games

It’s always good to think about summer holidays well in advance.

That way, if any unexpected circumstances come up, you can make the necessary financial adjustments.

The Town of Okotoks’ unexpected circumstances for plans to host the 2022 Alberta Summer Games may pop up when the provincial government announces its budget at the end of the month.

The budget will be a pretty good picture to whether the Town can expect a windfall in helping to finance the Games in the future.

The Town has earmarked $750,000 out of its $45-million reserves to help pay for the Games. The decision will help Okotokians in the pocketbook as it will help lower future taxes to a three-per cent increase rather than  four per cent.

That extra one per cent was to help pay for the cost of the 2022 Games.

At  this point the 2022 Summer Games is just a bid, but the smart money is on it being a successful bid.

Fortunately, the Town still has an out if it discovers the provincial funding isn’t what it used to be — like the last time Okotoks hosted the Games in 2004 when Alberta was flush under Premier Ralph Klein Days.

The Town had partnered with High River and Foothills County in 2004, this time it has a partnership with its friends in Black Diamond.

There are definite benefits to having the Games — athletes and their families spending money in the community.

As well, the soccer field at Riverside is a legacy from those Games that will last forever.

But if the indication are this UCP government won’t fund projects like the Summer Games in the future, the Town may want to consider this a false start and go back to the starting line with a whole different strategy for summer fun.