Left-right are Farm Credit Canada (FCC) relationship manager associate Antoinette Kruger, Village of Girouxville CAO Estelle Girard, and FCC relationship manager Hailey Chaibos, with a $3,000 cheque FCC donated to the Village to help with their planned lighting retrofit project in the Girouxville Community Centre. Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Village of Girouxville, AB received a $3,000 grant from Farm Credit Canada (FCC) on March 14 that will help offset expenses on an upcoming project.

The Village has identified a number of retrofits they would like to make to their corporate building inventory, and the grant from FCC will help the municipality begin with a lighting retrofit on their Community Centre.

“Council was pleased to receive funds to retrofit the Community Centre’s lighting,” says Girouxville CAO Estell Girard.
“The money will help offset the project’s budget and will help us to proceed with the project,” she adds.

Girouxville’s retrofit will include a total replacement of all current fluorescent light fixtures with light-
emitting diode (LED) fixtures, and they will also be swapping out all exit and emergency lights with more efficient fixtures. The retrofit is expected to cost slightly over $15,000, but will immediately help them save money on their energy bills. With the $3,000 grant from FCC, their expected payback period from energy savings will be realized within five years.

“The money provided to Girouxville Community Centre comes from funds FCC has available to support rural communities in Canada,” explains FCC relationship manager Hailey Chaibos.

“Each year FCC supports numerous registered charities, non-profit organizations, and schools.”
Girard explains the FCC grant is much appreciated, as it is increasingly more difficult for small municipalities to secure grant funds to help with retrofit projects. Many provincial and federal grants require a significant capital project, frequently asking for a minimum project budget of $100,000 or more, making it more difficult for small communities to qualify.

“We appreciate FCC’s grant because we know this will help the Village significantly reduce our energy bills at the Community Centre,” says Girard.

FCC supports organizations throughout the year in different ways. Chaibos says the AgriSpirit Fund will welcome applications for capital projects in rural communities starting on April 15. Since 2004, FCC AgriSpirit Fund has supported 1,444 capital projects with a total of $18 million.

“A community hall is an important place in any rural village or town,” says Chaibos, explaining why FCC felt the Girouxville Community Centre should receive assistance.

“It’s where people get together to spend time, build community, and share their lives. Investing in the upkeep of the Girouxville Community Centre is a way to support the community by putting money into something it needed with an immediate benefit to those who enjoy the space.”

Girard says the Village will be completing their much-needed lighting retrofit project in upcoming months.

By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 27, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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