Positive feedback regarding the Park Master Plan at the recent open house hosted by the Village of Radium Hot Springs at the Prestige Best Western on Saturday, November 18th was the order of the day according to Radium councillor Mike Gray, on the continuing development of the new multi-purpose community centre (also referred to sometime as the new community hall).
So far the project has received input from a variety of individuals including funding partners and stakeholders in the community on the design and use of the hall itself, but this particular open house extended to the structure’s surroundings.
Three schematic park designs that currently reside in the Village office for perusal were presented to attendees at Saturday’s open house by the Village’s consultant.
“It was very well-attended by the public and there were lots of very positive comments — I was shocked. One thing that didn’t come up at all, which surprised me, was the budget and that’s something I would like to inquire about because from a preliminary standpoint we’re not at the stage where we have all the numbers.”
Chief Administrative Officer Mark Read addressed Mr. Gray’s concerns as well as outlining the timeframe for the finalization of the budget.
“We have had the discussion about our general approach and the consensus at the time was that we were going to wait to see what the final budget costs for the hall was and then we were going to reevaluate our financing which would then inform how much borrowing we need to do,” said Mr. Read. “From there we would see what additional funds might be available to move forward with the first phase of the master plan for the park.”
According to Mr. Read, there will be incidentals and costs right up to the commission of the hall, and there are currently two basic large tenders outstanding at this time including a landscape and carpentry tender.
“We’re still working on finalizing the landscape plan so I expect within the next month we’ll be issuing that tender and by the new year we should have a budgetary concept of the overall costs of the hall. We will then bring those numbers to council,” he said.
Concerns over the possible misrepresentation to the public on the type of features that will go into construction were voiced on behalf of council members without a finalized budget in place at this time.
“I don’t want them to plan for a Cadillac and then we bring a Chevy,” said Mr. Gray.
Consensus was that schematics shown to the public were reasonable and that bigger type budget concerns like water parks, would be discussed at a later date.
“As we get closer to the second iteration of the plan that might be the time to start asking for magnitude of cost estimates and then maybe phase out certain things if they’re outrageous,” said Mr. Read.
Overall, council was pleased with the designs that were presented to the community.
“The whole park was outstanding and they were keeping in mind the budget for the hall and scaling the plan appropriately for the park plan,” said. Mr Gray.