December 2, 2021 By Julien B. Gauthier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Le Lac-Saint-Jean
On November 29, the Alma City Council adopted resolutions to approve several subsidies (totalling $143,748.08) for the municipality’s airport sector, including the Qualia drone test site construction project.
A total amount of $106,855.05 was granted to Alma’s UAS Centre of Excellence (CED) to develop its future drone system prequalification centre (Qualia). This sum, part of an $800,000 investment previously announced by the City of Alma, was taken from the municipality’s own surplus.
According to city councillor and CED president Alain Fortin, construction of the Alma Airport-based Qualia site – which started in November 2020 – is expected to wrap up in the spring of 2022. The project is valued at $2.4 million, including $1.6 million in provincial and federal funds.
Other sums were allocated to the renovation and acquisition of airport infrastructure. $9,815.71 was allotted to the Corporation d’innovation et développement Alma – Lac-Saint-Jean-Est (CIDAL) for the acquisition of a rotating beacon.
A sum of $8,461.25$ was also approved to fund work on the airport’s Miskam hangar door.
The CIDAL will also receive $12,000 to cover the cost of the electrical work required to supply a windsock.
Finally, $6616.07 was attributed to pay for an external accounting audit of the Alma Airport, which was carried out over 3 years.
All of these sums were taken from the municipality’s accumulated surplus and the 2021 budget provided under its three-year capital expenditure program.