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February 23, 2011
Passenger Bernie Dielschneider (centre) of Crestwood Place climbs aboard the handi-van and says the service is “very good . . . it gets us where we have to go. She (the driver Connie Leschinski ) is always on time.” At far right is Rene Ninowski from Hillcrest Lodge who also gets a lift downtown. The van service may have to be shut down if more cash is not found to run it. Story in this week's paper. ©Provost News Photo.
Handi-van Operation Struggling as Costs Up, Revenue Down
Costs are continuing to rise for handi-van operations in town while cash coming in continues to fall—putting the community service in danger of closing down.

President of the volunteer Provost Lions Community Handi-van Service Society, Blond Walz says the group received $6,500 from the M.D. 52 and $6,000 from the Town of Provost in recent years, but cash normally coming from the Lions Club (which disbanded in 2010) over the years has been recently falling. For example in 2009 the service club turned over $15,000 while in 2010 the donation dropped to $9,000 and in 2011 it will be close to nil, says Walz.

Cash brought in from fares rose from $7,434.58 in 2009 to $12,765.07 in 2010 according to a comparative income statement.

Total revenue for the operation in 2009 was $36,109.36 while in 2010 it was $35,361.80.

Total expenses meanwhile in 2009 was $44,983.87 for a loss of $8,874.51. In 2010 expenses were $45,384.99 for a loss recorded of $10,023.19.

Walz said that she recently met with town administration and also members of the Provost Kinsmen Club to see if something could be done about the situation.

The van is used mainly by elderly for trips downtown to hairdressers, doctor’s appointments or to purchase groceries. “It’s used a lot.”

Before the fares went up users paid $1 for a two-way trip but effective May 1, 2010 it’s $2 for a one-way trip. Also at that time a flat rate was put in place for out of town trips: $150 plus 50 cents per kilometre.

In November 2010 the society had appealed to the community looking for donations to help fund the maintenance and operation of the handi-van. “And we did have some donors that did give recently (one woman donated $1,000). Every hundred dollars helps” says Walz.

The society has been using cash from a reserve fund meant for the eventual purchase of a new van but a lot of that money is now gone.

Complete story in February 23 edition of The Provost News.
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M.D. Looks at Lease Rates and Tax Penalties
A regular meeting of the Municipal District of Provost No. 52 was held Thursday, January 27. Following is a summary of the approved minutes.

Council authorized the following:
To approve the minutes of the January 13 regular meeting minutes.
To ratify councillor remuneration submissions for December 2010 and January 2011.
To increase the remuneration of the caretaker at Shorncliffe Lake by $100 per month.

Complete story in February 23 edition of The Provost News.
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Apache Gives Money to STARS
Complete story in February 23 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask: "Do You Have a Hobby?"
. . . and we heard answers from Dillon Perrault, Vanessa Varty, Lucas Oliver and Merrick Weninger. Check out the February 23 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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