By Greg Price
Town councillor and recreation board member Andrew Prokop voiced his displeasure at the Taber Recreation Board meeting on Nov. 6 of the snail-like pace of addressing a proposed plan to add a female-designated dressing room and new referee area to the Taber Arena.
“This was initially brought up at the rec level back in May and I guess I’m a little surprised nothing has been going forward other than what’s on paper here,” said Prokop, scanning the 2015 budget proposal for recreation.
“It was brought out as a serious need that needed to be done sooner rather than later and it was directed to council and Mr. (Rob) Cressman to come up with some more numbers and plan option ideas and have something back to us. If that’s all I’m looking at, that’s going to be quite a delay, what I’m reading here is getting other parties involved before we even get to that stage. This should be have been done well before this date.”
There was also talks of havIng for the short-term, an ATCO trailer dressing room at a temporary location of the Taber Community Centre parking lot.
“This was a serious addressed short fall that was brought to us last spring and I believe we should have addressed it appropriately. But what I see does not seem to be an appropriate follow up to where we are at,” said Prokop.
“We don’t want this for 2016, it was designed to be dealt with and finished for this hockey season, the hockey season that has been going since the end of September. I’m a little disappointed, actually a lot disappointed and/or frustrated nothing has gone forward with that.”
A motion was passed at town council’s June 23 meeting which directed council to look into the costs associated with building a permanent female-designated change room and an expanded referee change room to bring back to council for a decision according to a July 9 article in the Taber Times, a meeting which recreation manager Aline Holmen attended and was quoted.
“We did look at the ATCO trailer and we did discuss it with Taber Minor Hockey as an option. We did some more checking into it and found there would be some problems with regards to heating and water supply for washrooms and shower. It would be just an empty shell with some benches,” said Holmen.
“Maybe that wasn’t the best use for that, getting it hooked up to the building so they can get in and out and not walk through the outside.”
Prokop added town council is likely going to hear about it with the lack of progress with the dressing room and referee quarters issue.
“This is something that should have been done yesterday, instead of waiting six months or 18 months down the road,” said Prokop.
“We will be hearing form other coaches and parents, because it hasn’t been dealt with other than talking about it. Talk is cheap, that is not acceptable.”
Taber town councillor and recreation board member Randy Sparks added last Thursday marked the first time information was brought forward about the ATCO trailer option.
“It is a budget item and we should know. We need to have this information so that we can make a decision on dressing rooms. Now they won’t be done until next season and that’s one season too late,” said Sparks.
“The direction from the recreation board was let’s get after this. We need to put some urgency on this and we need some numbers so a decision can be made soon.”