Major recreation improvements in budget proposal

Par Raymond Berthiaume
Major recreation improvements in budget proposal
public works plan

The first draft of the budget has gone back to the finance department for revisions to try and meet council’s demand for a lower tax rate increase.

The total budget in the preliminary report to council includes a proposed capital works plan of about $13 million. The includes about $3.7 million that would go towards replacement of the arena refrigeration system for the ice rink and also replacement of the rink slab and piping. Most of that cost would be covered through a long-term loan.

Other recreation-related expenses included as part of the preliminary 2023 budget are a new changing room locker setup for the municipal indoor pool at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex and new epoxy flooring for the changing room, work on the multiroom entrance and doors, paving of the delivery entrance at the complex, and new LED lighting for the outside tennis courts to allow night-time use. Combined with the rehabilitation work on the arena ice rink, improvements to the Robert Hartley Sports Complex would make up $4.35 million of the proposed capital works budget.

An upgrade to the municipal water treatment plant’s clarifier, filtration and backwash security systems poses a $6.5 million expense for the town. About $4.5 million of that cost would be covered by a long-term loan. Payments on the loan would be covered through the annual water service user fees for residents and businesses. The remaining cost for the water plant upgrade would be covered through senior-level government grants and other revenues.

Part of West Street is scheduled for reconstruction, including paving and upgrades to the storm water drainage system and the underground sections of the municipal water and sewage systems. The cost for that is estimated at $1.15 million, and would be covered through a combination of senior government grants and municipal funds.

The second budget draft, which may include revisions to some of the priorities for the capital works plan and to finaning methods for some projects, during council’s February 13 session.

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