Big Lakes denies extra funding for rec repairs

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has denied extra funding to help the Town of High Prairie complete repairs on the aging Sports Palace and a new roof to the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre.
At its regular meeting Aug. 24, Big Lakes council approved two motions to contribute 50 per cent of funding for repairs.
However, council passed the motions on condition that funding come from the county capital grant allocations.
Council approved one motion to provide $602,611.50 as 50 per cent of the cost to replace the refrigerated concrete pad and dasher boards at the Sports Palace.
A second motion was passed to provide $36,950 as 50 per cent of the cost to repair the roof on the Buchanan Centre.
Planned to be completed before the 2023-24 winter season, the work in the Sports Palace is needed for the arena to function, CAO Jordan Panasiuk says.
Reeve Robert Nygaard supports the project at the main arena.
“The Sports Palace is needed,” Nygaard.
“Let’s get it done.”
The upgrade is necessary, says High Prairie recreation superintendent Ramona Rollins in a report to council.
“The refrigerated slab in the Sports Palace is far past its life expectancy and its currently need of urgent repairs,” Rollins says.
“The facility is structurally sound, but it is very unlikely the current refrigerated slab will be capable of one more winter season.”
The roof on the Buchanan centre also needs urgent repairs, the CAO says.
“The roof was never installed properly from the start,” Panasiuk says.
“Ice builds up on the roof throughout the winter and the arena manager is required to shovel the snow and ice off daily in terrible winter conditions.”
North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk asked if the town applied for grants.
Panasiuk says the town has applied for grants but not received any response.
He says grants would lower the costs for both the town and the county.
Work on the project is scheduled for the fall.

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