Park Pavilion back on the table if federal grant successful

A previously cancelled town project may go ahead if federal grant application approved. Above image is of the original cancelled project.

by Colin Smith

A federal government grant may allow the previously cancelled park pavilion project to go ahead.

Construction of the park pavilion was envisioned as part of the refurbishment of the splash park, playground, outdoor washrooms and pump shed and included in the Town of Morinville’s 2021 Operating and Capital Budget.

However, the project was cancelled in May of 2021 when projected construction costs ballooned by $713,400, with funds redirected to other projects.

The project may be given a new lease on life with funding through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF).
This two-year $500 million national program aims to revitalize communities across Canada through infrastructure projects such as reinventing downtown cores and main streets, improving outdoor spaces, creating green infrastructure and increasing community accessibility.

The Town of Morinville applied for a maximum $750,000 CCRF grant for the project last July.

Infrastructure Services Manager Jordan Betteridge told council at its regular meeting Tuesday that while the grant has not yet been approved the word is that it likely will be.

Betteridge said the park pavilion is intended to be funded 100% through grant funds, with the design and building of the project scaled to be within the amount provided.

That means the previous design would be too costly due to economic factors including inflation.

The project cost would include excavating unsuitable subsurface material high in moisture and silt content and replacing it with a more stable fill. The discovery of this problem was one of the factors that resulted in the cost of the park pavilion jumping from an initially budgeted $285,000 to a projected $998,400.

No work on the project would start on the project until the grant funding commitment is approved and if updated design costs surpassed the available grant funds, it would come back to council for further discussion and direction.

Betteridge said the grant guidelines state that approved that projects must be completed by March 31, 2023, but an extension to December 31, 2023, has been asked for to take advantage of an additional construction season and will likely be granted.

Annual operating costs for the park pavilion are estimated at $30,000 including utilities, insurance and staff time opening and closing the facility at set hours.

If council decides to go ahead with the project it would be brought forward as part of the 2022-2027 capital budget.
The park pavilion report was received as information.

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