The Northside Twin Arenas project will not be build until at least 2018 after council approved a recommendation Tuesday night from the Oversight Committee to defer design and construction of the first phase of the recreation centre which is intended to include two twin ice pads, change rooms, and a viewing area.
The committee says that because of the economic downturn and the wildfire the community is no longer expected to grow as quickly as was forecast when the the complex was conceived. Now the community won’t grow at the expected rate, the committee and administration said there simply isn’t a need for the ice pads anymore.
The committee has done consultation with the Regional Recreation Corporation, which requested back in September that the design be updated because it foresaw some operational challenges with the current design.
Through that consultation the committee determined the ice currently available in the community will meet the need of hockey, skating, and other programs. In fact, the RRC said building more ice space would take away from the use of other rinks in the community, which could have a negative impact on the revenues of the already existing arenas, particularly those in the rural areas.
Council members voted 7-1 in favour of the deferral with Councillor Sheldon Germain voting against and Councillors Tyran Ault, Jane Stroud, and Keith McGrath absent from the meeting.
The second phase of the recreation centre had already been put on hold in earlier capital project amendment conversations held in the wake of the wildfire.
Also Tuesday night, council approved disclosing the salary ranges of some positions within the RMWB in a local version of a ‘sunshine list’ which is a disclosure done by provincial governments and health services bodies in Canada.
The RMWB will not disclose the identities of the people earning the salaries disclosed in the document so as to protect the privacy of the individual.
The salary ranges will be published because there are many factors that go into deciding at which point within the range a person’s individual salary will be decided to which the public will not be privy.
Council also approved a development permit for land east of Taiganova along the Athabasca River that will be used for warehouse and storage by the Wastewater Treatment Plant and environmental services.
This will serve as a temporary solution for an excess of materials during post-wildfire construction and work being done by the departments.
By-law first readings
The first readings of two by-laws were also approved at council and the date was set for a public hearing on the two items and second and third readings.
The first looks at changing zoning from highway commercial to community commercial in Gregoire across from the industrial park in the area where the Quarry Ridge golf course used to be.
The second by-law amendment looks at changing zoning of land along Memorial Drive from direct control to business industrial. Specifically, this by-law amendment would affect the space along the highway between the Thickwood overpass and Northstar Ford.
The public hearing on the two items will be held at the December 6 council meeting.