The Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association will now have until January 1st, 2022, to seal the deal on a piece of city-owned land.
City council approved to extend a Conditional Land Sales Agreement which was set to expire on August 30th, 2020. The Exhibition would be buying 51.08 acres valued at $2.3 million. The deal was originally approved on September 24th, 2018 under the condition that the Exhibition was approved for a Community Enhancement Program Large Funding Stream Grant.
They were not successful on the first try and applied for the grant again. LAEA General Manager Jenelle Saskiw says there are signs of progress on their latest grant application.
“We did hear back from the Alberta Government asking us to refine some of the application. The additional information that the government was seeking was sent in, so fingers crossed. If we were able to get that grant it would definitely help our bottom line and secure the future of Lloyd Exh as well by having some extra land for future development down the road.”
She says they should receive a reply in October. The Exhibition is facing other pressures as the pandemic has left them in greater financial need. The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions has requested $74 million from the federal government on behalf of the Lloyd Exh and other agricultural societies across the country.
The Lloyd Exh isn’t able to bring in revenue as most of their funding comes from hosting events, a majority of which have been cancelled, and their operating costs remain the same.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says he’s concerned for the Lloyd Exh and all the other non-profit organizations in the city who are facing economic challenges at this time.
“We are being as cooperative and supportive as we can as a municipality as we had been before COVID. We’ll continue to support their initiatives as best as we can, support them in lobbying the government and things like that.”
In the city council meeting, City Manager Dion Pollard mentioned there have been no other parties interested in purchasing the property.