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City acquires nearly $1M to support five recreation upgrade projects

City administration discussed some of the projects during the recent executive committee meeting.

The parks and recreation department acquired nearly $1 million in grant funding this year to support five projects throughout the community, from solar panel installations to upgrades at Crescent Park.

Derek Blais, director of parks and rec, presented a report during city council’s Aug. 22 executive committee meeting about the status of those projects. Below is a summary of each.

Solar panels and LEDs

Blais acquired $761,019 in federal and provincial funding to install solar panels and LEDs in several municipal buildings. The city’s financial contribution of $276,781 brings the total project cost to $1,037,800, Blais’ report said.

The project will install 661 solar panels on the Yara Centre, Events Centre/Multiplex and city hall and LEDs at Yara Centre. These upgrades should save the city about $85,000 annually on utility costs and reduce its carbon footprint by 805 tonnes annually.

The city could not install solar panels on the city complex and Kinsmen Sportsplex because of the buildings’ shape.

Installation of the LEDs finished in April, while 300 of the 375 panels will be installed at the Events Centre by Aug. 31, the report said. The project was delayed because the contractor damaged the Events Centre’s roof while loading the materials. 

“The contractor failed to follow the weight capacities provided by the project engineer, resulting in a structural failure on the southeast corner,” stated the report. 

The city temporarily closed that part of the building — the Kids’ Zone at Warrior games — to the public while repairs were made; it reopened that section in mid-August. A permanent repair will be completed in 2023 and the remaining 75 solar panels will be installed.

The contractor will be responsible for handling the insurance claim, Blais told council. Furthermore, if the correct installer is used, it is possible to keep the building’s warranty intact when repairing the roof.

 Meanwhile, it would be difficult to affix solar panels to the complex and Sportsplex without major financial investments, he continued. However, the department has determined there is no business case to enhance those structures for this project.

“I think there are other opportunities that could be explored for ground-mounted solar panels,” Blais added.

Crescent Park pathway upgrades

The department received $109,350 in federal funding for the pathway upgrades. The city’s contribution of $36,450 brings the project total of $145,800.

The project includes installing 75 metres of new asphalt trail; converting 537 metres of existing crusher dust trail to asphalt; removing and replacing 325 metres of existing asphalt trail; and recapping 190 metres of existing asphalt trail.

The parks and rec department awarded the project in May and the contractor started in mid-August, the report said. The project should be completed by October.

Cultural action plan — Phase 2

The department received $5,000 in provincial funding for phase 2 of the cultural action plan. The city’s contribution of $5,000 brings the project total for this phase to $10,000.

Phase 2 has focused on developing the plan by engaging with the community to envision and develop goals, the report said. 

A community survey launched in July and closes on Sept. 2. By mid-August, 124 people had completed the survey, which asked for people’s thoughts about the community’s existing cultural strengths and how they can be grown. 

Phase 3 — development and adoption of the plan — should be done by late 2023 or early 2024, while phase 4 — implementation — should occur in 2024.

Installation of energy sub-monitoring systems

The department acquired $25,000 in federal funding. The city contributed $142,200, bringing the project total to $167,200.

This project will see energy sub-monitoring systems installed in 10 of the city’s largest carbon-emitting buildings, the report said. These systems will help the city determine baseline energy use, identify and implement energy efficiency improvements, reduce operational costs, reduce greenhouse gases, and help with ongoing energy use analyses.

City hall received confirmation in mid-August that the funding was conditionally approved, pending a funding agreement, the report continued. The department will make a formal announcement once all the details are finalized. 

Sub-monitoring systems were installed in four municipal buildings in February and began providing data in July. The remaining six buildings should be online by October.

Trails and pathways master plan

Parks and rec acquired $45,000 in federal funding to develop a trails and pathways master plan to guide multi-use trail development in the future.

The plan will focus on improving connectivity and access to main areas such as the downtown core, Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, high schools, community centres and 15 Wing Air Base, the report said.

With the approval of its application in June, the department will search for a consultant to develop the plan. The document should be finished by June 2023. 

The next executive committee meeting is Monday, Sept. 12. 

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