Red Arrow
Tuesday March 13th, 2012  
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   Volume 82 - Issue 10   email:   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"I don't want to see any more of the forest burned."
- Larry Mitchell  


A recently completed audit of Crowsnest Pass municipal facilities shows that several buildings are under-utilized, costly to operate and past their life expectancy, prompting Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council to consider the demolition of local centres.
The audit, which was presented to Council at a special budget meeting which was held on
Thursday, February 23rd, reviewed the lifespan, condition, cost per person and required maintenance of 14 municipal recreation facilities, including the Crowsnest Pass Community Swimming Pool, Pass Powderkeg Ski Lodge, Crowsnest Sports Complex, Albert Stella Memorial Arena (ASMA), MDM Community Centre, Bellevue Seniors’ Centre, Blairmore Seniors’ Centre, Coleman Seniors’ Centre, Blairmore Elks Hall, Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery and the Centennial Building.
The report found that the majority of the structures are under-utilized, have less than 10 years left in their life expectancy and require significant and costly upgrades.
The audit indicated that both the ASMA and the Bellevue Seniors’ Centre have exceeded their life expectancy, current conditions are not considered safe, and demolition of both structures is recommended.
The ASMA, which was constructed in 1959, was found to have a recovery on operations of approximately seven per cent and a per person cost of approximately $16.
It was found to be in “very poor” condition, due to significant deterioration and required replacement of several mechanical and electrical components, as well as a lack of insulation which leads to increased heating costs.
Currently, the ASMA - which houses a skate park, lacrosse / soccer field and gymnastics space - requires an approximate $250,000 in renovations and is only utilized 10 per cent of its available time.

At the budget meeting, Municipal Chief Administrative Officer Myron Thompson recommended the demolition of the facility and relocation of services offered within.
The Bellevue Seniors’ Centre was found to be in very poor and unsafe condition, and Thompson recommended that the building be decommissioned as soon as possible, adding that the building’s front façade could be preserved in order to maintain the character for the streetscape.
The Pass Pool was found to have only approximately five years left in its lifespan, with an annual cost of $30 per taxpayer.
The overall condition of the pool was found to be “acceptable”, however significant electrical and mechanical upgrades are required.
The MDM was found to be in acceptable condition with approximately 10 years left in its life expectancy, and is in need of a $250,000 upgrade to its roof and $20,000 in other repairs.
The Elks Hall, Crowsnest Sports Complex and art gallery were all found to be in relatively good to very good condition and not of substantial cost to taxpayers, although the sports complex was found to be in need of approximately $30,000 in upgrades.
Discussions on all of the facilities, including the possibility of increased user fees for some and demolition of others, will continue as Council and Administration work to prepare the upcoming triennial budget.
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