Once the city has decided on what pools, ice rinks and sports fields it wants to build, it’s going to be up to Maple Ridge voters to show up and vote against them, if they disagree.
Council, at its Monday workshop, opted for the alternative approval process as a way of getting the public’s assent to borrow the money for the new facilities.
Costs for those new facilities, and impact on the taxpayers, still haven’t been determined. But borrowing up to $110 million has been included as a possible part of this year’s budget.
Council has been considering several new recreation facilities, such as a swimming pool and fitness centre with an indoor running track, as well as a curling rink. That could cost $70 million.
Adding new artificial sports fields and a 5,000-seat stadium, along with new change rooms at the Albion Sport Complex is another project, and could cost about $20 million.
Two new ice sheets are also on the wish list and could be created by converting the existing Golden Ears Winter Club to a hockey arena, then building a new curling rink, which would $25 million total.
The concept that’s furthest along is a new cultural centre, which could cost up to $40 million, planned for just west of the Leisure Centre in Memorial Peace Park.
That would serve as a new location for the Maple Ridge Museum, a youth mental health wellness centre and meeting space.
Council, in May, looked at conceptual plans for the project, which would include upgrades to the existing pool building. Earlier staff reports estimate the cost at $11 million.
That project could qualify for cash from the federal Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program or the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
Under the alternative approval process, which could cost about $10,000, the city has to advertise the amount it wants to borrow, then give voters 30 days to respond.
The voters would do so by signing an elector response form saying that a plebiscite should decide the matter. If more than 10 per cent of voters do so, the city will have hold a plebiscite in order to get voter approval for borrowing.
The city has said it would consult with residents before it decides on the recreation projects.