By Kenyon Stronski
Recreation Manager Brian Martin stood before council at their July 18 regular meeting to discuss the potential reallocation of budgeted 2022 Capital Funding towards the purchase of an ice resurfacer. The projects being removed for funding are as follows: $100,000 for the purchase of a Bobcat or Tool Cat, $20,000 for the purchase of security cameras at Ken MacDonald Memorial Sports Complex (KMMSC), and $45,000 for the purchase of a grass vac replacement.
It is noted in the agenda that due to safety concerns, as well as the natural gas fueling system required for the current ice resurfacer being obsolete, it is requested to purchase an electrical ice resurfacer for the hockey arena.
“We have Zambonis currently, and one of them is in a little bit of disrepair,” began Martin. “We had the opportunity to get on some grant funding through the Electric Vehicles for Municipalities Program that we have already started installing some of our chargers around town with. Because we need a replacement Zamboni we’ve asked to allocate these funds to make room to purchase a new Zamboni.”
Posing the first question, Coun. Carly Firth asked what would happen to the projects that are slated to have funding stripped from them.
Martin said that with the budget cycle beginning again, some projects will be carried forward.
“Some aren’t required with this administration and there would be some changes with those, but we probably won’t need all of the allocations anyway. None of these were crucial pieces of equipment, and we’re able to sacrifice these for this valuable piece of equipment that we do need.”
Currently, only three companies make Zamboni’s or ice resurfacers, and Martin assured council that bidding would be competitive — however, the third manufacturer isn’t as popular and most likely won’t be taken into consideration for a bid.
At this junction, the motion to approve the reallocation of funds was begun by Coun. Sorensen, however, more discussion took place after Taber’s Chief Administration Officer, Derrin Thibault, brought more information to the table.
“I just want to bring to everybody’s attention that we have gone through the grant application with the MCCAC (Municipal Climate Change Action Centre) and awaiting tonight’s decision, it looks like they already are in favour of a 30 per cent grant fund to us. This turnaround happened in two days, and it looks like they are prepared to give around $49,000 to this purchase.”
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