An artist rendering of the Sylvan Lake Gulls' stadium planned for Pogadl Park. Red Deer County gave the Town of Sylvan Lake $350,000 towards the construction of the park, which will include baseball diamonds, an outdoor hockey rink, soccer fields, a multi-purpose field, volleyball courts and a splash park. (Photo courtesy of the Sylvan Lake Gulls)

Red Deer County gives Sylvan Lake $350,000 for new sports park

Construction underway on $23-million sports and recreation park

Red Deer County is giving Sylvan Lake $350,000 toward the cost of a new outdoor sports and recreation project.

Council approved the grant this week and left the door open for further contributions for construction of the $23-million park.

The facility will include six baseball diamonds, an outdoor hockey rink, soccer fields, a multi-purpose field, volleyball courts and a splash park.

In August, the town and the Sylvan Lake Gulls, of the Western Canadian Baseball League, officially broke ground on the park and the Gulls stadium.

Work is underway to get the $7-million stadium and the baseball quad ready, so teams will be able to play there beginning next summer.

Sylvan Lake approached the county to provide just under $1.1 million toward the cost of the park. That is based on the estimated five per cent of users who will be from the county.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost $7 million, which amounts to a $350,000 contribution from the county.

The county’s director of community and protective services, Dave Brand, said the town’s financial request was reasonable, as was its estimate of county user levels.

Previously, the county provided $1.5 million toward construction of Sylvan Lake’s NexSource Centre recreation facility, based on the assumption 15 per cent of users would be from the county.

Coun. Christine Moore said the new park will be a big draw for the area, and the county will benefit.

“Really, for what we’re going to get, I think we’re going to get a big bang for our buck,” said Moore, who will serve as the county’s representative on the Pogadl Park Advisory Committee.

Council debated whether to provide the entire $1.1 million request up front, but chose to approve only first phase funding. As the project proceeds, council will consider further funding requests.

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