A proposal to develop a regional recreation complex serving Lacombe, Blackfalds and the surrounding county is showing signs of life.
City of Lacombe administration is recommending council go to a joint committee of all three municipalities to drum up support for a provincial grant application to fund a feasibility study for a recreational facility designed to serve the area.
Lacombe city council has expressed enthusiasm for the idea but believes the estimated $40-$80 million cost means it needs to be a team effort by all three municipalities.
“A tri-municipal facility strategically located between the communities could provide shared high-quality recreation infrastructure and contributed to long-term financial viability for all three communities,” says a report to council from Lacombe chief administrative officer Matthew Goudy.
“The long-range plans of all three municipalities support the exploration of shared service provision.”
To get the ball rolling, council has been asked to refer the prospect of seeking feasibility grant funding from the province to the Intermunicipal Development Plan and Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework Committee, which has representatives from all three municipalities.
Up to $200,000 is available through the Alberta Community Partnership Program, which is designed to provide funding to improve the viability and long-term sustainability of municipalities.
Residents of Blackfalds, Lacombe and the county have expressed desire for more recreational options, says Goudy in his report. Arenas, swimming facilities, climbing walls and indoor spaces for soccer, volleyball, pickleball and basketball could all be part of the large facility.
“The benefits of a shared facility would be that the costs would be spread out, and residents from all communities would still have access to quality recreational facilities.”
It is likely a site would be chosen between Lacombe and Blackfalds, putting residents from both only about a 10-minute drive away.
Should the grant application succeed, significant public input would be sought to develop the feasibility assessment.
Lacombe Council will discuss the recommendation at its meeting on Monday.