Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie says he's not about to quit advocating for funding for a new Big Hill Lodge.

In early June, Susan Flowers, Cochrane's represented on the Rocky View Foundation (RVF), advised an application for $14.6 million in funding was unsuccessful. She says there's no way the project can go ahead without securing the major grant.

Now the focus of Guthrie and others is having a winning bid when the next pool of funding is released. 

"I will be continuing to work on that because if we are going to have to reapply, that's something that we will have to have done by the end of September. I really need to get some answers internally as to what those processes look like."

He says he has met with Mayor Jeff Genung to formulate some of the next steps and partnerships needed to be successful. 

"It's a long process and we were taken by surprise last time, so we have to regroup and get our ducks in a row. We're not quitting."

In a debriefing on the application by government officials, Chris Lowe, RVF chief operating officer, said the foundation was told it was a strong application with a few areas that could be tightened.

"But for the most part, there wasn't really anything that if we were to apply exactly the same way coming this September. I would be comfortable with that because it was a really good application," says Lowe.

He suspects there were several other quality applications, but in the end, only eight projects were chosen from the 70 seeking funding. 

Lowe says he will be consulting with people in the industry to help take a look at costs down the road for the project. He says final approval could take three to five years, and you need to build a contingency that not only looks at today but several years into the future.

He says the foundation appreciates the huge support it continues to receive from Guthrie, Genung and town council.

"They've been such a huge support to this project and to Rocky View Foundation and affordable housing in general. It's sad to not get approved, but the nice side is that we're working with partners in the community and in government that want to see it happen. That's always reassuring."

Last September, Jason Nixon was the latest minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, to tour the Big Hill Lodge. When a new minister is appointed, Guthrie has made it a habit of inviting them to view first-hand the challenges being faced by the aging lodge.

At that time, the Rocky View Foundation was within weeks of completing its application for funding from the 2024 Alberta budget.