By Greg Price
Taber Recreation Board at its February meeting got a firsthand look at the 2018 and 2019 capital budget that town council recently passed with the line items that affect recreation in town.
They are listed as follows:
Arena Refrigeration/Mechanical Systems Upgrade Arena ($680,000)
Ice Painter Arena ($9,500)
Parks Wide Area mower Unit 5-09 Parks ($125,000)
Trailhead Development Parks ($30,000)
Sunrise Playground Development Parks ($50,000, 100 per cent dependent on grant funding)
Trout Pond Phase 2 Parks ($500,000)
Truck Unit 1-17 Parks ($35,235)
Gator Replacement 6-06 Sportsfields ($23,000)
Auditorium Facility Lighting Upgrade Auditorium ($75,000)
LED Sign Auditorium ($120,000)
Walking Trail, Trail Head Signage Parks ($10,000)
Community Centre Exterior Upgrade Auditorium ($210,500)
Trout Pond Phase 3 Parks ($300,000)
UTV Replacement 5-11 Sportsfields
Sod Cutter Unit 7-26 Parks ($6,500)
Fourth Ball Diamond Parks ($250,000)
Kiwanis Playground Parks ($50,000)
Truck Replacement Unit 1-19 Parks ($35,235)
“There are a few of these that have some grants attached to them. For instance, the arena refrigeration upgrade, that is actually Phase 2 and 3 of the project that started last year,” said Aline Holmen, director of recreation at the Taber Recreation Board meeting on Feb. 1. “There is the compressor room upgrade. Phase 2 is the ramp down the south side of the arena that goes on an arena surface level. Phase 3 is the electrical upgrades. The funding is all there to do Phase 2 and 3 and a portion of that is designated MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative). The Sunrise Playground Development (over by L.T. Westlake), that’s 100 per cent dependent on grant funding. If we don’t get specific grants we are applying for, the project will not go ahead.”
Holmen added there is a community committee forming to get the fourth diamond out at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park finished that will serve as a delegation at a future recreation board meeting.
“Lots of projects we will be doing in the next two years as we move onwards and upwards,” said Holmen.
A common consensus among numerous recreation board members was the relief to see forward motion happening in the upgrading of the Taber Community Centre.
“We all know that some of our facilities are very aged. The Civic Centre is what I call it, it’s getting close to 50 years old and I’m not surprised we are spending a lot of money on it,” said Garth Bekkering, a town councillor and member of the Taber Recreation Board. “To get it upgraded to make it more sightly, more efficient and up to date. This present council is trying to focus heavily on renovating and repairing current infrastructure. I think our buildings by and large are pretty good buildings, they haven’t been neglected by a matter of age. I think it’s a really good focus from my perspective.”
Councillor and recreation board member Louie Tams echoed Bekkering’s sentiment, adding the needs of citizenry are far different today than when the Taber Community Centre was first built.
“Some of these changes are long overdue. The world of electrical has changed a lot since 50 years ago. Today’s society needs Wi-Fi, chargers for cellphones and we have this ticket booth we never use and carpet that you can walk in and trip over. It looks like it’s 50 years old, it’s time to upgrade,” said Tams. “We’ve come to this conclusion as a council. We own these facilities, let’s make sure they work effectively and efficiently.”