Blackfalds still waiting on county cash for $3M rec facility

Blackfalds will have to wait a little longer to find out if Lacombe County will hand over up to $3 million for a new fieldhouse and outdoor pool in the town.

Blackfalds will have to wait a little longer to find out if Lacombe County will hand over up to $3 million for a new fieldhouse and outdoor pool in the town.

Mayor Melodie Stol came before council last month with the multimillion-dollar request to help pay for the $15-million facility on which construction is expected to start this summer.

Councillors decided they needed more time to review the financial implications given the size of the request, which also included a proposed $45,000 annual contribution towards operating costs. They deferred the issue until Thursday’s meeting.

However, councillors continue to express reservations about making such a sizable contribution without taking a look at the bigger picture of recreation and how it should be supported.

Coun. Dana Kreil suggested on Thursday that council defer a decision at least until an already-arranged April 3 council workshop to discuss how to proceed on an upcoming recreation plan for the entire county, which will include a needs review.

“It seems to me we need to get together and think about recreation first before handing out too much,” said Kreil.

Making such a large contribution of tax dollars without an overall recreation strategy was a concern of Coun. Rod McDermand. “I think these are piecemeal,” he said of recreation funding requests the county receives “and we need our game in place.”

County commissioner Terry Hager warned the upcoming meeting is only to start the process to develop a recreation plan. A finished plan will not likely be ready for at least six months.

Council voted unanimously to defer discussion of Blackfalds’ request until April 3. It will then be brought back to a council meeting for decision.

Meanwhile, the project is gathering steam. Blackfalds’ council passed a borrowing bylaw earlier this month that will allow them to borrow $10 million of the $15 million projected for the facility. The fieldhouse will be home to various recreational activities such as indoor play spaces for a variety of sports, walking and running tracks, pools, fitness equipment and lease spaces for local businesses.

It is hoped it will be finished in 2014.

Just Posted

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most Red Deerians don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Dustin Byfuglien scores in overtime, Jets beat Flames 4-3 in pre-season

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little tied the game late in the third and… Continue reading

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

SURREY, B.C. — Three First Nations in British Columbia gathered today to… Continue reading

Tail with a happy ending: Dog rescued from fighting ring, ready for police work

Dallas’s ear-to-ear grin and bright brown eyes seem to sparkle with joy.… Continue reading

Liberal leader doubles down on notion that $75 weekly grocery bill is possible

MONTREAL — One day after being ridiculed for saying it was possible… Continue reading

Jury resumes deliberating man’s guilt in Calgary mother of four’s death

CALGARY — Jurors are continuing to deliberate the guilt of a man… Continue reading

Most Read