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Council to decide on replacing parks including splash park

Replacing the Splash Park at the Ray McDonald Sports Center grounds, shown in this file photo, is under consideration by Council.

by Colin Smith

Should the water used in the splash park at the Ray McDonald Sports Center be recycled?
The question arose at Tuesday’s Council Meeting during a discussion of plans for the community’s aging playgrounds.

Morinville has nine playgrounds owned by the Town, including Skyline Ball Diamonds.

Most are more than 20 years old and are considered to be in poor to very poor condition.
According to an Administration report, the current recommended replacement cycle for a playground is 15 to 20 years. In addition, none of the playgrounds in Morinville are considered accessible for persons with as abilities as they all have sand as a base and no accessible play structures.

The Ray MacDonald Playground and Splash Park are more than 20 years old and in poor condition. Removing and replacing the Splash Park is one of the recommendations Council received for work on the playgrounds to be done in 2020.

It is part of Option A, presented to Council by the Administration, which would see the Ray McDonald area maintained as a major destination.

Another option is to move the splash park and ice rink to the grounds of the Morinville Leisure Centre.

Other recommended work to be done in 2020 is removing and replacing the Rotary Park playground, with it to be replaced in the future; removing Belle Park playground and not replacing it; removing the trail fitness equipment; and the rehabilitation of the Bob Foster Extreme Sports Park.

Total cost of the work, an approved 2020 Capital Business Case, is budgeted at $446,000.
Rehabilitation and repair work on the Bob Foster skate park has already been done as it was deemed necessary following an inspection in May. The concrete work was contracted to specialists and Public Works employees did the groundwork and landscape repair. The cost was $43,000.
Removal of the current splash park is expected to cost $12,210 and replacement of its infrastructure including concrete, waterlines and drainage will be $300,000, for a total of $312,120.

The Administration had recommended that Council approve the projected playground work for this year under Option A.

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During Council’s discussion, however, the question was raised about recycling the splash park water, which currently simply goes into the sewer system.

“I can’t see doing the same system over and over again where the water just goes down the drain,” said Councillor Nicole Boutestein.

The cost of the water used is about $11,000 per year.

No current estimate of the cost of installing a recycling system was available, but figures from 2017 that were unearthed were $355,000 for a circulation system, $255,000 for a storage system.
Chief Administration Officer Stephane Labonne said it was unknown whether a recycling system for the splash park would require both components.

Council then passed a motion moved by Councillor Sarah Hall calling on the Administration to check out the cost of recycling water at the splash park and report back at its June 23 meeting.

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26 Comments

  1. A lot of Service groups worked for several years to make it happen. I think the town council should remember this when moving attractions that service clubs raised good hard money to improve and better our community.

    • Here we go, same comments at the time the project was taken on, don’t move it, use the money to relocate on building a new one. The size of town warrants that need. Then come the comments not in my area, parking etc, etc. Leave it where it is, gets good use, always active on sunny and dull days. Council Rethink This

  2. The Splash Park is not 20 years old. I bought my house in 2005 and the park was in the community garden next door to my house. It was not until about 2007?that they moved the park behind the arena and added the splash park. Concentrate the funds to a pool even if it is only seasonal. The Splash pad has provided hours of fun and entertainment during the summer. Removing it and taking forever ( as everything has in the past) to rebuild and relocate seems wait to early. Just my opinion. Not looking for backlash.

  3. The splash park could use a redo since some of it doesn’t work anymore. Seems like the cost of recycling water would be more then just paying for it yearly. Would hate to see it and the rink moved to the rec centre. Would be nice to have these facilities spread out around town. The splash park could use some more shade around the area.

  4. On behalf of South Glens, we’ll take any second hand play stuff the town is getting rid of.
    We have a green space with nothing in it. To save another tax hike, if town just wants to dump the pieces at the entrance, well look after putting it together. We know you’re busy in The Lakes.

  5. Leave the splash park where it is. It’s a good location for those who dont drive and maybe can’t walk far. And why remove belle park play structure and not replace it. My grandbabies play there because it’s very close and nice size as Notre Dame is not as good for preschool children.

  6. I agree that the equipment at the splash park does need to be repaired and maintained (keyboarding: maintained). However, I would strongly encourage council to NOT move the splash park… At least… Not yet. I would like to see the full numbers for traffic, funds and feedback from the Leisure Centre first before setting anything in stone in terms of moving or installing anything for recycled water.

    Also, side note: my daughter does not know how to swim (part of that is because of her disability; part of that is me not having the time to get her trained properly). Having the splash park is a HUGE addition to this community and to outlying communities who may not have access to a splash pad of some kind (especially when we had good, HOT days last summer).

  7. If anything move ice rink and splash park to the skate park area. And maybe set up the same thing at Leisure Centre. The town is big enough to have two. I live on the west side of town and enjoy being able to walk to the current one. I’d easily be able to walk to one at the skate park.
    But i would never walk to or drive to splash park at Leisure Centre.
    Wondering what do St. Albert splash park do with the water. Recycle or anything.

  8. Leave it where it is. It’s a good location in town for people to walk/ bike to. If you move it to the leisure centre Its inaccessible to most people. It’s nice to have different areas in town for people to congregate instead of everyone at the same place. I like the splash park/ skating rink, the skate park, and the leisure centre being in completely different areas. Less traffic to each one, less people all crowned into one place.

  9. Yes don’t remove belle park lots of families go there and dayhome kiddos if anything perhaps belle park could use an upgrade so it’s good for all ages

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