Veteran councillor says Red Deer North getting a raw deal

A veteran Red Deer city councillor may be throwing in the towel on the twinning of the G.H. Dawe Community Centre arena.

A veteran Red Deer city councillor may be throwing in the towel on the twinning of the G.H. Dawe Community Centre arena.

Coun. Frank Wong said he is disappointed that his colleagues did not back his motion to move the project into 2016.

“I just thought I would give it a last kick at the cat,” said Wong. “What I think they are going to do is waste that $75,000.”

Wong had asked his council colleagues to honour what he says is a commitment in the 2008 and 2010 capital plans on Wednesday.

But council reasoned it did not make sense in light of an ice study currently underway.

The $75,000 study will be completed in early 2016 and will determine where there is a need for more ice rinks.

Coun. Ken Johnston said he looks forward to the report which will “objectively flush” out the issue.

Mayor Tara Veer said those previous capital plans were never adopted formally rather they were “placeholder” items for the future.

She said there has been key changes since 2010 including scaled back MSI funding, the securing of the 2019 Canada Winter Games and a partnership with Red Deer College for the ice surface. There was also the unexpected rebuild of the Red Deer Arena and the changing ice capacity in the region.

Inking the Dawe arena project into the budget would have come with a $21.4 million price tag.

Wong said if the arena isn’t on the books before 2026 then the city should simply decommission the nearly 50-year-old building.

The debate skimmed the surface of a north versus south Red Deer division with councillors commending Wong for his strong advocacy for the north.

“Our public has indicated to us they expect us to govern in the interests of the whole community,” said Veer. “We need to be very clear in that we are one community and we serve the whole community.”

Wong said he did not argue it as a “north versus south” issue rather the north is “under serviced.”

“It’s not where I live,” said Wong. “There is a need for the amount of people who live there.”

Coun. Buck Buchanan voted with Wong saying the $75,000 study will tell the city what they already know — there is an ice shortage.

The G.H. Dawe Community Centre was revitalized to the tune of $30 million in 2008.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

China suspends Canadian meat imports amid Huawei dispute

OTTAWA — The Chinese Embassy said Tuesday it has asked Canada to… Continue reading

Updated: Red Deer policeman denies telling woman she had a ‘nice body’

RCMP officer on trial for sexual assault while carrying a weapon and breach of trust

WATCH: Red Deer Pickleball Courts officially open

Pickeball players have a place to call home in Red Deer. The… Continue reading

Source of gasoline smell in north Red Deer still unknown

City staff continue to work with industrial company

Some central Alberta businesses pledge to pay youth $15 ahead of wage cut that kicks in Wednesday

Jo(e) Social Media Inc. and Kavaccino’s pledge to pay youth more than $13 an hour

China suspends Canadian meat imports amid Huawei dispute

OTTAWA — The Chinese Embassy said Tuesday it has asked Canada to… Continue reading

Raptors president Ujiri addresses rare off-court issues during NBA title run

TORONTO — Even a championship can come with hiccups. Toronto Raptors president… Continue reading

Hayley Wickenheiser among six to enter Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019

Hayley Wickenheiser’s accolades have a hard time keeping up with her. The… Continue reading

Tributes to Michael Jackson flow on 10th death anniversary

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s estate paid tribute to his artistry and… Continue reading

Online shopping leads to mountains of boxes

As online shopping becomes ubiquitous, so do the boxes delivered to homes… Continue reading

Get tested for HIV on Thursday

Red Deer residents can take part in the second annual national HIV… Continue reading

Skinny Vancouver Whitecaps eager to pick up points on four-game road swing

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps know there’s work to be done as… Continue reading

World Cup exit shows Canada will miss the remarkable Christine Sinclair

PARIS — Christine Sinclair has put Canadian soccer on her shoulders for… Continue reading

Most Read