SUNDRE — A new concrete pad will be poured in an effort to improve safety by reducing the risk of debris getting tracked onto the Sundre Skatepark.
The unbudgeted project, estimated to cost almost $5,200, was approved by council on June 28 by way of motion with one dissenting vote during the first in-person meeting held in the municipal chambers since it was closed due to the pandemic.
Linda Nelson, chief administrative office, said concerns had been raised regarding the south side of the skatepark, with debris being tracked onto the surface as users roll in from the sidewalk.
A resident suggested pouring a concrete pad to “eliminate some of that debris being tracked in, making the transition area safer for the users,” said Nelson, adding the expense was not budgeted for.
The flat, four- to six-square foot concrete pad would also be available to less experienced users as a beginners’ area, she said.
“Administration is looking for direction from council,” she said, adding two options were proposed.
One being to direct staff to conduct additional research and bring the project back for further discussion during the fall workshop for a final decision, and the other being to direct staff to proceed with the upgrade at a cost of $5,187, with funds being allocated from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.
Coun. Cheri Funke moved to direct administration to proceed with the work, and also added further direction for staff to work with the resident to research and discuss any more potential upgrades for future discussion at the fall workshop.
Coun. Rob Wolfe spoke against the motion, not because he was against the project but rather due to what he felt was a lack of details.
“We don’t have enough information to move forward with this,” said Wolfe.
Coun. Charlene Preston supported the motion, calling the matter a safety issue.
“Last summer,” further elaborated Preston, “we had put up the barricades around it because of COVID, and even at that time it was still being used a lot. So, I know it’s one of the places in town that is used a lot, so I think the upgrade is definitely needed.”
Coun. Richard Warnock also favoured the motion, and said he believes more work needs to be done at the skatepark to bring it up to a higher standard.
“There are a lot of people in a lot of towns taking their kids to skateparks,” he said. “I think that debris going on there, is just going to ask for someone to get hurt.”
Mayor Terry Leslie agreed with his colleagues, and the motion was carried with Wolfe opposed.
“With COVID the way it has been, we want our families out as much as they want to be out,” said Leslie.