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Moe' improvements to sportsplex

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

A few more improvements will be made to the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.

While the bulk of what became a $14.1-million project is now complete, Lacombe city council voted unanimously in favour of adding a few more upgrades to the project’s scope on Monday to address safety and security concerns.

The biggest change to be made includes a $55,000 purchase and installation of control gates for access to swimming pool change rooms, due to a number of complaints and concerns over a lack of security. The gates are not only set to improve the security in change rooms, but allow for more accurate tracking of patrons.

Security gate curtains, as suggested by the Lacombe Curling Club, will also be installed at the tune of $5,551 throughout the facility to limit access and cordon off parts of the building not in use.

Community Services Director Brenda Vaughan explained the additional improvements were caused as a result of the renovation.

“We created a very large common area on both floors,” she said. “The goal was to ease access from one facility to the other. These are the by-products of the larger intention.”

Other improvements come at the request of citizens, including $17,028 worth of handrails on the west side of the bleachers in Can Pak Arena 1 to allow users to navigate the seating area in a safer manner. Electric heaters will also be installed for the accessible platform viewing area on the northwest side ($1,966) and tempered glass will be added to the second floor as a barrier to protect those using mobility devices from falling over the railing and getting hit by errant pucks($3,160.)

Additional items will cost a total of $82,705 and will be funded through existing borrowed funds for the project, which came in under its $15.5-million budgeted cost.

Given the expanded scope of the project will not cost taxpayers additional dollars, it was an easy one for councillors to support.

“We’re talking about accessibility and security of our facility, so I think it’s a good investment of money. We’re not having to borrow additional dollars – these are being realized through savings we’ve seen,” said Coun. Thalia Hibbs. “All we’re doing here is expanding the scope a little bit with items that were probably considered originally and set aside.”

Coun. Reuben Konnik said he agreed with moving forward, primarily when it came to the control gates for the pool.

“I’m definitely in support of the additions,” said Konnik. “It always bugged me that people could just wander in off the street straight into the change room.”

Coun. Don Gullekson also agreed, adding he felt the ability to isolate certain areas of the facility when events are happening would allow it to function better.

Procedural Bylaw

Council gave third and final reading to the Procedural Bylaw, which oversees how council conducts its business.

Changes from prior councils include recorded voting for all decisions, an open community forum to start each council meeting, the live streaming of council meetings to allow citizens to tune in at their leisure to watch council make decisions affecting them.

Trinity Lutheran Church Redesignation

Council gave first reading to rezone the Trinity Lutheran Church property from Residential Detached District (R1) to Community Services District (CS).

The church applied to rezone the property as it's now the home for the Performing Arts Foundation and performing arts uses are not permitted under its current R1 zoning.

There was some debate over whether to waive the $1,000 rezoning application fee to fund the advertising cost. Ultimately council voted in favour of waiving the fee.

A public hearing for the rezoning will be held on Monday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Nuisance Bylaw

Two motions regarding bringing forth amendments to the Nuisance Bylaw were defeated by council.

Coun. Don Gullekson’s motion to eliminate an exception which currently permits portable high velocity leaf and snow blowers that disturb nearby residential buildings to operate in the early morning hours and Coun. Chris Ross’ motion to consider licensing cats were both turned down at Monday’s meeting.

While they were defeated, council did talk about overhauling the current Nuisance Bylaw as a whole and to consider changes regarding the licensing of cats and what is acceptable for snow removal in the future.

The next council meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. in council chambers.


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