Plan to advance spray park nixed

An appeal to push up plans for Red Deer’s first water spray park was shot down during capital budget talks this week.

An appeal to push up plans for Red Deer’s first water spray park was shot down during capital budget talks this week.

Councillor Paul Harris said the city should begin planning for a spray park in 2011 because he heard loud and clear during election campaigning that this is what many residents wanted.

A $40,000 study to look at design and possible sites in the city was recommended by Harris.

The City of Red Deer is looking at putting in a large water/splash park of more than 25 interactive components in the upper Kin Kanyon area.

But that park may not be built for at least 10 years.

Two other sites have been considered — on the city’s north end as well as in the Rotary Recreation Park and South Site area located between Alexander Way and the base of Spruce Drive hill.

“I think we need to look at some funding on where to build first,” said Harris.

“I think all of those reports will come back and say the water parks are a good idea. We don’t have any mechanism to say ‘when’ and ‘where.’ ”

But Councillor Cindy Jefferies wondered why the city would look at a spray park when there are other recreational priorities, including a skateboard park on the north end, which did get pushed up on the capital priority list. Council approved the capital budget that would see a new skateboard park built within three years.

Harris said he also heard from people that a new skateboard park is needed.

“We have a small one already and we don’t have a spray park right now,” said Harris, adding he wonders how many residents are going to other communities like Blackfalds that have these water parks.

An outdoor wading pool and fountain spray park exists on the west end of Alexander Way but is in no way similar to the large spray parks found elsewhere.

Councillor Tara Veer said the community needs assessment that was done in 2008 identified priorities for recreation so she couldn’t support moving up the spray park project.

Harris, Dianne Wyntjes and Chris Stephan supported the $40,000, but the motion was defeated by Mayor Morris Flewwelling and Jefferies, Veer, Frank Wong, Buck Buchanan and Lynne Mulder.

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