Council kicks off multiplex project

Sylvan Lake town council has cleared the way to begin work on getting the community behind a major recreation redevelopment. Council approved the terms of reference for the task force that will face the job of pulling the ambitious $16.5-million multiplex redevelopment project together.

Sylvan Lake town council has cleared the way to begin work on getting the community behind a major recreation redevelopment.

Council approved the terms of reference for the task force that will face the job of pulling the ambitious $16.5-million multiplex redevelopment project together.

Terms of reference have also been approved for the multiplex fundraising committee, which will face the job of raising millions of dollars in support for the project from local sports groups, sponsors, surrounding communities and other donors.

Council first looked at the terms of reference two weeks ago. But council opted to hold off approval to ensure that it was clear that community fundraising was a must for the project to proceed.

Local groups and sponsors will be looked to for $2.5 million.

Several councillors expressed doubts that the provincial and federal governments could be counted on for much financial help given current fiscal belt tightening.

The town is proposing to borrow $7.9 million for the redevelopment and to tap into another $4.5 million in reserves and government grants. It is also hoped that more than $3 million will be pledged by neighbouring municipalities whose residents would use the facility.

Approved terms of reference outline clearly that if fundraising falls short, the project could be cancelled or delayed.

Also, the terms reinforce that the decision to proceed with each stage of the project rests with town council.

The task force will include two members of council, representatives from a number of local sports groups, seniors, three members of the public and senior town staff. Representatives from neighbouring summer villages and counties could also be included depending on their involvement.

Sylvan Lake communications co-ordinator Joanne Gaudet said “pretty much every kind of check and balance is in place” to ensure council can step in and stop the project if funding falls short or other obstacles arise.

Council also wanted clarification that any drawings or designs created can be used later, even if the project is delayed, to ensure money is not wasted.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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