Did You know . . . The Athabasca Regional Multiplex is hoping to confirm municipal and provincial funding for an outdoor multi-sports park to include soccer fields, a hockey rink and baseball fields.



Proposed Multi-Sports Park seeks funding decision from new Council


With the deadline approaching to submit a provincial grant application to help fund a proposed outdoor multi-sports park in Athabasca, the Athabasca Regional Multiplex Society is hoping for a timely decision from the newly elected Town Council.


Prior Council considered the project but felt there was not enough time before the October 18 election to make a decision. That responsibility will go to the new Council who will soon have to decide what level of financial commitment the Town will make to the Athabasca Multi-Sports Park project.


The park, as proposed, includes two regulation soccer fields and one practice soccer field, an Olympic size hockey rink, grading to the two existing Slow Pitch ball diamonds, and three new ball fields to accommodate bantam, pee wee and mosquito division players. Although it may not be included in the first phase of development, a trail system will eventually connect each of the recreational areas. Landscaping and parking will also have to be factored in at some point.


Unless developed in stages, the cost for the multi-park as currently proposed will be close to $1.32 million. The estimated figure for the soccer fields is $354,775; the hockey rink, $424,000; the ball parks, $419,000; plus $119,000 for the construction contractor.


Funding assistance may be available from the province in the form of a matching grant. In order to qualify, the Town of Athabasca and Athabasca County must commit to matching whatever amount of funds is applied for. Typically with such grants, the Town and the County have split the obligation 50/50.


Rob Balay, Manager of Regional Recreation Services, is presenting the outdoor multi-sports park proposal to Town Council on November 2. He will present the project as a whole, and he will also give Council a few options to consider, where the park could be developed in phases to spread the costs out over time.


Rob's funding request is based on receiving a provincial centennial grant in the amount of $450,000. The Town and the County would have to commit to a matching amount, to be split between them. Local user groups would then be called upon to come up with another $450,000, bringing the proposed project funding total to $1.35 million.


"We might end up with a grant of $250,000, or it might be $500,000," notes Rob. "But whatever the government gives, it must be matched by the municipalities."


In the past, various projects around town have been supported by in-kind donations of materials and services and Rob is hoping to see similar community support come through for the multi-sports park project as well.


However, before any further planning or development can begin, Rob must first get the grant application in to the province before the deadline, and before he can do that, he must present the project to Town Council and get a confirmation of the Town's commitment.


Multiplex administrative assistant Jennifer Raboud believes in the value of the outdoor multi-sports project, explaining that the purpose for expanding their recreational facilities is to better serve the needs and interests of the user groups in the area.


"Our user groups invest a lot in the Multiplex," says Jennifer. "We want to do the best we can to accommodate them."


Rave reviews for Multiplex food and snack concession


There has been another recent development at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex. Jennifer is excited to let the community know that the Multiplex is now running the in-house food and snack concession.


"Linda Morton is the manager, and we're running it on a full time basis," advises Jennifer. "The concession is open whenever an event is going on."


Word on the street has it that the food is excellent and the burgers are awesome. "We're getting rave reviews!" says Jennifer.


The Multiplex concession can also provide catering services for meetings and events. Call 780-675-2967 for details.

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