Turner Valley spray park project on hold
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 11:58 am
Progress on a Turner Valley spray park is at a standstill pending word on funding from the federal government.
The Foothills Lions Family Spray Park Committee is awaiting approval for $170,000 from the government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund before moving forward on constructing a 31,200-square-foot spray park in Turner Valley. The cost of the facility is expected to be $500,000.
Chairman Barry Crane said he wants to ensure the funding is in place before purchasing equipment and services.
“We won’t commit our funds until we have an answer,” he said. “We’ve been told it’s in the process and that we should have an answer before the construction season starts.”
If the grant is approved, Crane said the committee will present architectural drawings to Turner Valley council for approval, purchase about $250,000 worth of equipment from PlayWorks in Calgary and invite quotes from contractors to install pipes, equipment and the groundcover.
“If the federal government says yes ASAP we expect people to use (the spray park) by late summer,” he said. “It depends on how fast the federal government moves if the kids play or not.”
If the committee is denied the money they must rely entirely on fundraising and donations of services from qualified tradesmen, Crane said.
“Even without the funding, the Foothills Lions Club is dedicated to the project and will work until it’s built,” he said. “We will just look at new avenues and more volunteers. It will be built no matter what."
The status of the grant application will also affect whether the committee qualifies for the provincial Community Facility Enhancement Program fund of $125,000, said Crane. He said a criteria of the grant is for the committee to have most of its funding in place and without the $170,000 from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund it will fall short.
The committee has raised $130,000 since 2011 with an additional $70,000 in committed funds, said Crane.
Upcoming fundraisers include a ladies night out event in April, a golf tournament in July and a fundraiser involving area schools, he said.
The committee’s major fundraiser has been the sale of tiles for $50 each to businesses, families and individuals to paint for display on the park’s decorative wall.
Crane said only 100 tiles have been purchased, a far stretch from their goal of selling $25,000 worth. He said $47 of the $50 goes toward the project and the next tile painting sessions take place in June.
Crane said he hopes to see the spray equipment and washrooms functioning by September and the landscaping, including fencing, picnic tables, trees, a thunderstorm shelter and a tile wall, completed next spring.
“We want to concentrate all funds on just building the park and getting this park into the ground,” he said. “All the decorating can be done later.”
Since plans for the park began 18 months ago Crane said there have already been increased costs. For example, Alberta Health Services stepped up their health standards and now require a single-loop ultra violet purification system as opposed to the two-loop system, an additional cost of $40,000.
“The cost for the project has gone up and it can really go a lot higher,” he said. “We expect the project to run a few extra dollars which is why we are maintaining the fundraising drive to ensure we don’t have hiccups when the time comes.”
Thus far the project received overwhelming support from surrounding communities in the form of donations, purchase of tiles, purchase of picnic tables and even volunteers.
“We got two new members join the committee in the last week just because they want to see their kids play in the water park,” he said. “One is organizing the golf tournament and another on updating the website for the Foothills Lions Club that will have links to everything we do.”
For more information, to volunteer or make a donation contact Barry Crane at 403-933-5385, Don Thomson at 933-7164 or Bob Nelson at 403-933-7509.
Tax-deductible receipts will be issued for donations.