Red Deer Aquatic Centre a high priority for council

Multi-use aquatics facility discussed at length

The multi-use Aquatic Centre, a highly sought after item on the Capital Budget, was discussed at length by City councillors on Nov. 30th.

City council adopted a motion to retain the existing timeline placeholder in the capital plan, which is identified in 2019, 2021 and 2022. City administration will come back with a full background report to council, which will be key in the discussion of the scope of the project.

Councillor Vesna Higham brought up the multi-use Aquatic Centre, but had some issues around its high cost of over $100 million.

Although she said she doesn’t know what the proper allocation should be, she gave examples of two other projects that have been designed or are in the process of being designed at a much lower cost.

Higham said reducing the cost of the project by potentially $40 million would be great.

She added that she was pleased with council’s outcome.

“My concern is to ensure that the public understands that we as a council are committed to this project, to a 50 metre pool in the existing timelines that are in the capital plan currently,” she said.

Mayor Tara Veer stated the 2013 to 2017 council was the first mayor and council in Red Deer’s history that committed to the need for a 50 metre pool, and Veer said the City had commenced a capital savings program to eventually fund that infrastructure.

On Nov. 30th, there was considerable discussion around the plan, and a continued commitment around the need for 50 metre pool infrastructure in the City.

New information became available to council, which they want more background on. That information was the limited utility of the Michener pool facility and council’s revised targeted growth strategies (growing north simultaneously).

Before it comes forward for final decision, council will receive further background from administration.

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