Dafoe gets answer on rec centre budget Vs borrowing limit

by Tristan Turner

Councillor Stephen Dafoe took the opportunity during budget discussions Nov. 24 to get in a question to CFO Andrew Isbister about how much of the Town’s $22 million debt limit the community would need to borrow to finance the rec centre project, budgeted at $13.75 million in the 2015 Budget.

The question was raised at a recent recreation centre community meeting by Morinville Chamber of Commerce President Simon Boersma in response to information that some of the $13.75 million would need to be borrowed. Boersma said at the time his question “was not answered.”

Dafoe said Tuesday night he felt it was time to make the answer public.

Before answering Dafoe’s question, Isbister was clear that the money borrowed for the project would be reimbursed by Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), and other grant funding, and that it would depend on what grants and sponsorships the Town could get before the project started.

When pushed on the question, Isbister said if the facility were built today with the budgeted amount of $13.75 million and no other revenue sources, the Town would need to borrow “about $8 to $10 million dollars.”

Council has requested pricing on two potential options for more than an arena. Both options include a field house. One option includes a running track and curling rink. That request was made at the Nov. 24 Council meeting. No date is set for when a price for the two options will be presented.

The Steering committee made up of 12 public members and two councillors was set to meet Thursday night.

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1 Comment

  1. Mr. Gosselin,

    I want to thank you for your participation on the steering committee but I have concerns with your posted comments.

    “Wanting/needing two sheets and paying for them are two different things.”
    “Regardless of what is eventually built, the towns borrowing limit will prevent the town from building, what it seems most are asking for, in one shot. Whatever is built, will have to be built in stages.”

    This new facility might have to be built in stages, but we have one opportunity here to get it done the right way. The way that most benefits our community now and into the future.

    My vision of the new facility is on a grand scale. Two ice surfaces, a pool, field house and curling rink.

    Building a new facility with only one ice surface is a colossal error and a move that lacks any sense of foresight or vision. This new facility will likely be the core of our community for the next 50 to 75 years. When our population hits 15,000 residents, will one ice surface still be enough? What about when we hit 20,000?

    The Ray McDonald Sports Centre (arena) was dismantled, moved from Edmonton to Morinville and re-assembled by volunteers in 1957. That project took a couple of years to complete. At that time we had one of the best facilities in the capital region. That building has served this community well for nearly 60 years.

    Frankly, I’m particularly tired of hearing what we can’t have. Let’s find a way to do it!

    I’m sure the steering committee will be proactive, creative, and will make the most valiant attempt to convince Council that Morinville is the place of the future, and, that this opportunity is one that will entice more young families to call Morinville home. Let’s convince Town Council to continue to work and strive toward regional partnerships in hopes to increase funding opportunities. Let’s build something our residents will be proud of and use every day.

    No one has said this would be easy. Let’s take the time and do it right.

    As I see it, the glass is half full.

    Dan Blackburn

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