Waskasoo Park up for $9-million upgrade

The City of Red Deer is looking to borrow $9 million towards continued upgrades at several recreational parks over the next 10 years.

The City of Red Deer is looking to borrow $9 million towards continued upgrades at several recreational parks over the next 10 years.

On Monday, city council will be asked to approve first reading of a borrowing bylaw in order to finish the Waskasoo Park Special Gathering Places projects.

The capital project includes reviewing and enhancing various park nodes in the Waskasoo Park area, of which the Three Mile Bend off-leash dog park and the River Bend Golf and Recreation Area are a part.

Recreation, Parks and Culture will focus on Heritage Ranch over the next two years, to the tune of $1.3 million. Improvements will be made to signs, roads, the children’s playground, trails and extensive repairs to the building. The equestrian facilities will remain, with even more emphasis on the ranch theme to the facilities.

City administration has reported that the cash would be borrowed for up to 15 years.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said the enhancements were approved in the 2010 capital budget.

“I think council has made the decision that the projects are something that we needed to go ahead with,” Flewwelling said on Friday.

And he said borrowing was part of the plan.

The city must ensure it’s mindful of its borrowing limit. “We have to go into this carefully so we don’t get ourselves cross-threaded,” Flewwelling said.

Many improvements stem from the 2005 Special Gathering Places Study, which reviewed the uses of the city’s main parks to see whether changes needed to be made. Some upgrades at Three Mile Bend and Bower Ponds have been paid for through federal and provincial grants.

Bower Ponds opened a new covered stage last year, while Three Mile Bend received additional benches and a boardwalk.

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