Canmore approves $145,000 for outdoor rink

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CANMORE – The municipality will spend an additional $145,000 to replace an outdoor rink on the old daycare lands to cover unexpected costs and ensure it can be used for pickleball next summer.

The extra money will be used to pay for engineering, geotechnical work, higher fencing, electrical work and to cover additional costs related to steel tariffs imposed by the United States.

The total cost for the outdoor rink is now expected to be $685,000, including a $68,500 contingency fund for unexpected costs.

“We received two bids for this project. One came in at $580,000 and the other $768,000,” said Lisa Guest, parks supervisor for the Town.

“We’ve actually had a conversation with the low bidder at $580,000 and they have honoured their pricing until August 23.”

Guest said the company intends to begin work before the end of August in order to have the rink ready by the end of November.

Prior to asking council for more money, she said staff looked at decreasing the size of the rink to keep the project on budget, but told council it wouldn’t work because the ice resurfacer wouldn’t be able to make the turns.

Council originally approved replacing the rink in the 2017/18 budget, but it was delayed from being rebuilt so Canmore Community Housing Corporation could complete its housing project on Larch Avenue.

As part of the project, the municipality also held online public consultations and an open house.

Through that process, administration heard from residents that they would like to see higher fencing to improve public safety, install removable pickleball posts and relocate the rink further north away from houses.

“We see this as home for our pickleball community, which is a big deal,” said Guest. “Tennis has a home and, as you know, pickleball has been looking for a home, so we are really excited to get them into this facility.”

Based on public feedback, administration also opted to increase the rink’s fencing height from four to 16 feet. The original scope of the project included increasing the fencing to eight feet.

Council voted unanimously to approve the additional funding during a council meeting on Aug. 21. The funding will come from the Town’s general capital reserve fund, which currently sits at about $9 million.

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Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke has spent the past four years working as a community news reporter in Jasper, Banff and Canmore. Prior to moving to the Rockies he cut his teeth as a breaking news reporter for the Toronto Star and has since won several community newspaper awards.