News Views: Diving in

Decisions, locations, priorities all made in the next several months on multi-million process

As Maple Ridge embarks on an extensive process to reinvigorate recreation facilities in the city, there should be no question about what comes first.

The public will start seeing drawings for all the projects – from a civic cultural facility, to a community centre in Albion, more sheets of ice and soccer fields – in the next few weeks.

It’s all going to have to be paid for, through grants and borrowing, but it won’t all be built at once.

What should come first?

How do you determine that?

The public will help, through feedback collected at meetings and online surveys.

All the information will be included in a draft report to council in February. After more consultation, and tweaking, the alternative approval process will be used to gain support to borrow however much is needed.

Initial estimates are $110 million.

The city would ask for more than it needs in grants, which will determine how much to borrow.

It would make monetary sense, if the provincial government provides funding for a new elementary school in Albion, to build the community centre in concert.

But the city will have to manage expectations with what comes after that.

No doubt the Maple Ridge museum, which has lobbied for years for more display and storage space, would want a new facility sooner rather than later.

But minor sports groups have also long been pleading for new facilities.

Ice rinks? Curling rink? Soccer field? Stadium?

What comes next?

It should be a new pool, as part of the wellness centre, to include a gym and indoor track, as well as the curling rink.

This whole process started with a conversation about needed repairs to the Leisure Centre, which can’t take place until a replacement is built.

That should come first, and it should be built in Albion, because its central and near other recreation facilities.

That said, Maple Ridge will be better off when all of the proposed projects are built.

 

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

 

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