By Jeremy Appel
Alberta Newspaper Group
Redcliff town council voted at its April 8 meeting to provide $220,000 in reserve funds to help the Lions Club build a new splash park, bringing total funding for the project to $400,000.
The motion put forward by Coun. Cathy Crozier passed 4-2, with councillors Shawna Cockle and Jim Steinke dissenting. Coun. Eric Solberg was absent.
According to council’s agenda, $400,000 will likely ensure the splash park is slightly smaller than the current one, but with more features.
“It’s not a hard and fast quote. It’s a budget estimate,” explained Derrin Thibault, the town’s director of community and protective services.
There have been no bids on the project yet, he added.
Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick said the town needs to commit to an amount of funding before the project goes out to tender.
“We can hum and haw, or try to get more or less money, (but) then the longer Derrin has to sit and not put it out for tender,” he said.
Prior to this vote, Cockle put forward a motion to provide $140,000 in additional funding to the park, which would bring the total to $320,000.
That motion was defeated, with Cockle and Steinke in favour.
Steinke said the town should go with the lower level of funding until it knows exactly how much the park will cost.
“Are we sure it’s going to replace everything we want to replace?” he asked.
Cockle said she hoped to provide the full funding next year, once the town has a better sense of its final cost.
“The park has just seen its day. It’s done. It’ll have to be a redo,” she said, adding that council was originally told it was going to be a simple renovation.
“We can say it’s $400,000, but that may not even be it either … How do you say, ‘OK. This is it?'”
Thibault said $320,000 could replace the current splash park, but $400,000 would make it likelier that it’s a similar size to the one in existence.
“I don’t want to see (the park) smaller than it is already. I think it’s well-used,” said Coun. Larry Leipert. “I just don’t think we should skimp out on that particular item.”