Park go-ahead relies on council decision

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 08:38 am

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The ball is left in the Town of Turner Valley’s court to determine if the community’s much-anticipated spray park will open before summer.

Foothills Lions Club Spray Park Committee chairman Barry Crane, also a Town councillor, requested a letter of commitment in the amount of $200,000 from the Town of Turner Valley during Monday’s council meeting while the committee awaits approval for a grant it applied for in the fall.

Crane said the committee applied for the Province’s Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) fund a week prior to its cut off date for a $125,000 grant and expected to receive a response on Dec. 15, but the decision was pushed to March 15.

“In order to make this a June completion I have to make a decision Feb. 15 to purchase materials,” he told council. “I cannot get my club to agree to any purchasing of materials until I have a firm amount of money.”

Coun. Barry Williamson asked Crane why the committee is requesting $200,000, rather than the grant amount of $125,00. Williamson said the Town already provided the club with land for the 31,200 square-foot project east of the Dr. Lander Memorial Swimming Pool and the cost to supply the site with plumbing and drainage.

“Now a couple hundred grand plus infrastructure plus the land,” he said. “We are not budgeted for that. We have other projects.”

Crane said the additional $75,000 will provide a cushion in the event extra costs are incurred.

“What if we paid $125,000 and the project goes over by $50,000,” he told council.

In an interview following the meeting, Crane said if the committee is not approved for the CFEP it is up to the Town to foot the remaining costs.

“We are following the downtown plan from a non-profit standpoint, helping to enhance the town,” Crane said of the Foothills Lions Club’s initiative. “(They) are getting a free water park out of it (if the fund is awarded).”

During the last two years, the Foothills Lions Club raised $250,000 in donations and fundraising initiatives for the project.

The cost for the equipment and installation is $353,000 and another $20,000 is needed to cover materials for washroom facilities, a mechanical room and outdoor showers, which will be constructed by volunteers, Crane said.

“We did all the grunt work,” he said. “All the town has to do is front the land and the infrastructure that would go in no matter what. That infrastructure enhances the development of the downtown.”

To qualify for the CFEP fund, the committee was required to raise the total cost of the first phase, minus $125,000. Crane said the total cost is estimated at $500,000 with the second phase consisting of landscaping, beautification and outdoor furniture.

Crane estimates the first phase will take four to five months to complete.

If council approves the committee’s letter of commitment, work can begin immediately, he said.

The spray park committee’s request will go to council during its regular meeting on Jan. 20 for a decision.


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