April 25th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 17
Council updates: saving ASMA, dog parks, community trails
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Archive photo
Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council from left tor right: Councillors Marlene Anctil, Dave Filipuzzi, Doreen Glavin, Mayor Blair Painter, Councillors Lisa Sygutek, Gordon Lundy and Dean Ward.
Pass Herald Reporter
Vision for Albert Stella Memorial Arena

Crowsnest Cultural and Recreation Society board member Cal Clarke and fundraising director Randall Shemko presented Council with a brand new vision for the Albert Stella Memorial Arena (ASMA) that provides the opportunity to save the facility and works to the mutual benefit of users and the municipality.

ASMA is in need of extensive upgrades and repairs. It needs to either be renovated or demolished. Without coming to a decision yet, Council has considered and discussed both options, although they have recognized that ASMA is an iconic, historic and rare multi-purpose facility and most Councillors are favourable to preserving the building.

According to Manager of Community Services Joey O’Brien, it cost the municipality $60,000 to operate ASMA in 2017. In 2016, that number was nearly $100,000.

The facility is currently used by many sports organizations and recreational/childcare clubs for children like 40 Developmental Assets, the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills and lacrosse.

Clarke presented two solutions, a short term and a longer term vision.
The short term solution is to lease the facility to the Crowsnest Cultural and Recreation Society, which would take the financial burden of operating the facility off the municipal budget while potentially increasing utilization.

In this proposal, the Crowsnest Cultural and Recreation Society would assume the day-to-day costs of operating and organizing scheduling with user groups that use the facility. All the user groups would share the operational costs of keeping the facility open.
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This option would allow greater access to the facility and the municipality would save substantial dollars. It would also mutually benefit the Crowsnest Cultural and Recreation Society, as operating a facility would make them eligible for many more grants than currently.
However, the underlying problem that the building requires upgrades remains.

That’s where the second solution offers a long-term vision with the opportunity to revamp and renovate ASMA.

Clarke proposes creating an adventure park with a variety of activities and programming, similar to that of Copper Mountain Adventure Park in Colorado. Based on what the community would like to see, there's the potentiality for a indoor ski jumps, a skateboarding site or even a trampoline park.

This proposal goes beyond just renovating the facility, also acting as a destination draw for surrounding communities and tourists.

"There is a lot of impetus to create not just a facility that support the municipality and its organizations, but is an economic driver,” said Clarke.

Clarke requested that Council support the Crowsnest Cultural and Recreation Society lease to allow ASMA to operate on an interim basis while longer term options and the adventure park concept can be explored.

While Council generally reacted favourably to the project, they expressed many concerns and questions that wold need to be addressed before officially providing their support, for example clarification on labour issue, liabilities and maintenance and rates.

“I hope we can address all those concerns because I would like to see this concept work,” said Councillor Dean Ward.

Council will be discussing the project at an upcoming meeting.
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Dog park delegation

Council heard a delegation from Derek Medland, chairperson of the Off-Leash Sub Committee of the Parks and Recreation Authority, about a project to open a dog park in the community.

The dog park would be approximately 10 hectares in size and situated beside the cemetery at the Highway 3 and Bellevue/Hillcrest interchange. The entire area would be fenced off and within its perimeter would include a second, smaller area for small dogs.

The committee considered nine other possible areas for the dog park across Crowsnest Pass, ultimately settling on this location for its proximity to Highway 3 and amount of open land away from residential areas. This is a trial area with the possibility of establishing areas in other places within the MD.

The park is estimated to cost $7,000 and that would include putting in a 4-foot stock fence and all associated hardware. Fortis has contributed $3,000 to the project. According to Medland, the intent is to construct the dog park at no cost to the municipality, so the rest of the funding would be sourced through grants or sponsorship. However, the hope is that the municipality would provide winter plowing and summer grading services and garbage pickup.

Additional costs from grants or sponsors would look other amenities like doggy bags and dispensers, garbage containers, washrooms and a water source.

During 2018 budget discussions, Council voted to defer the dog park to 2019, which was listed as a capital expense of $10,000. Seeing as the dog park would not incur additional costs to the municipality, Medland requested that Council reconsider the off-leash dog park project for 2018 and unfreeze the $3,000 donation from Fortis to apply towards development permits.

Council will be discussing the dog park further at an upcoming meeting.

Community trails snow clearing update

In response to requests from the community to have the community trail maintained throughout the winter, Council tried out a snow clearing system for the first time this season. However, between frequent heavy snowfalls and inefficient equipment available, they were unable to maintain cleared paths.

Council directed Administration to include this as a topic at the 2019 budget discussion this fall, along with all relevant capital costs to establish a snow clearing system that works efficiently.
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April 25th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 17
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