City council update

Council addressed the funding of a skating rink and water feature for the public square.

The total costs for the additional features is estimated to be $976,000. To fund the skating rink, $426,000 will be needed for its construction and maintenance.

Council voted against allocating funds to the account for the skating rink project, preferring to see the results of the fundraising committee.

In regards to the method of funding, Councilor Ian McLean said, “We did explicitly say that these two expensive pieces would be funded by the community.”

Paul Rossi, a member of the fundraising committee, explained the delays in launching the campaign. “A lot of the answers we need to campaign with are not available,” he said.

Rossi did clarify that the issue was “to no fault of city staff.”

Council passed the motion to support the community fundraising effort and are expecting the necessary funds raised by Sept. 21.

If the deadline is not met, it is not likely that the skating rink will be open by December of this year.

Council also passed the budget for the extreme sports park, which is intended to be opened in 2010.

“I believe we need to be very proactive in getting this constructed as a council,” said Councilor Diane Freeman regarding putting the budget forward.

$70,000 had already been allocated to the project. However, development services asked for the full budget for the project in order to most effectively begin planning the site and design.

The park will accommodate BMX bikes as well as skateboards.

Different designs are being looked at for the park, and will feature either an integrated or two neighbouring facilities to support each activity.

The location of the facility is still to be determined. City staff have been examining various possibilities.

Freeman said, “The amount of comments we have received for the need of one of these parks over the last two years has been excessive.”

The commitment for the development of this type of facility was first made in the city’s master plan.

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