Trails, pool, concert hall top amenities wish list

More trails. A 50-metre pool. A concert hall.

More trails. A 50-metre pool. A concert hall.

City Hall administration revealed the community’s amenity wish list following months of public consultation on Monday.

Residents told the city they wanted more places and spaces for recreation and culture in Red Deer.

Some of the 148 projects are already included in the city’s 10-year capital plan and others may make the cut down the road. The list will help guide council during the 2015 capital budget debilitations today.

At a media briefing on Monday, city manager Craig Curtis explained the new 10-year capital plan does not include everything on the community wishlist because of the financial implications on the city debt and tax rates.

A number of projects were pushed beyond the 10-year plan, including a multi-use aquatic centre. That ranked second for citizens consulted, after adding more trails to the system.

However, council will consider funding a study that would determine the feasibility and projected costs to improving the aquatics at the Michener Centre and including a 50-metre pool there. The $156,000 study will look at operating the building independent from the rest of the Michener Centre. The city would work with the province on the study.

A new performing arts centre/concert hall ranked No. 4 on the list of citizen-supported projects, but did not make the cut of items being considered by administration or council now.

Outside the media briefing, Coun. Paul Harris said he expects that there will be some criticism from the community because the high-ranked item was left out of planning for at least another 10 years.

A second ice surface at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre, also on the list, will not be debated any time soon.

The project ranked No. 25 on the list. It has been postponed due to the proposed construction of the Red Deer Arena and the two arenas at Red Deer College.

A full list will be available in the coming days at www.reddeer.ca.

Here are the top 10 items identified by citizens who were surveyed, and their standing in the long-term plan:

1. More trails — River Bend Escarpment Trail slated for 2021 ($2 million).

2. Multi-use aquatic centre — slated for 2020 ($103 million).

3. Bower Ponds facility expansion — a two-year project slated to start in 2016 ($1.2 million).

4. Performing arts centre/concert hall — slated for construction in 2025 or later with an assessment, business case and concept design on the books for 2023 ($296,000).

5. Roland Michener Recreation Centre renovation/services — $7.1 million in 2018 and $29.7 million in 2025 or later

6. Another facility like Collicutt Centre — North Red Deer community centre — $1 million in 2015; $3.2 million in 2016 and $4.5 million in 2017

7. River Bend: Discovery Canyon upgrade — River Bend enhancements in ($272,000) and Discovery Canyon ($3.2 million) in 2016.

8. Riverlands development river walk (Phase 1) — $1.78 million in 2015.

9. Riverlands year round market — request for proposals ($42,000).

10. Memorial Centre upgrades — $1 million in 2016 and $1.1 in 2017.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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