Town to hold special meeting about potential sale of old arena

by Morinville News Staff
with files from Colin Smith

Mayor Barry Turner has called a Special Meeting of Council for 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 to go into closed session to discuss the possible sale of the Ray McDonald Sports Center.

Town of Morinville Communications Coordinator Tracy Dalzell-Heise sent local media an email Thursday advising of the upcoming meeting. Council’s last official meeting was July 9. It’s next was not scheduled until Aug. 27.

The release to media indicated the closed session is in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, namely that the disclosure of the information would be “harmful to business interests of a third party.”

As Tuesday’s meeting is a special meeting, only the one item on the agenda can be discussed.

The Ray McDonald Sports Center held a farewell in March of this year. Demolition was scheduled for 2020.

Much work needed to use building

The Town’s release does not indicate if the potential buyers would want the building or just the land.

Last fall, Council received an engineering report on the former arena’s condition.

At that time, Engineering firm Read Jones Christofferson Ltd. was asked by Morinville Public Works to assess the structural condition of the arena to determine whether repairs made in 2015 were still effective and if new problems had arisen.

In his report to Council last fall, project engineer Creag Vogel advised that the arena was considered serviceable in the short term, but significant repairs and maintenance would be needed to keep it open past 2019.

Specifically, repairs made in 2015 to column bases – one of the major areas of concern – are performing as intended, and no additional maintenance or repairs are required. Some wood rot and moisture exists but isn’t a concern, given the temporary nature of the repair.

The 2018 report indicated that column cracks, cross brace removal and wood rot were among the issue that would need to be dealt with if the arena were to be kept open past 2019.

The Ray McDonald Sports Center was scheduled for demolition in 2020.

Morinville News will report any public discussions resulting from Tuesday’s closed session after the meeting.

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