Recreation services manager Bruce Bauman reported on his department’s latest activities, including efforts to restore the currently incapacitated Sunshine Coast Arena in Sechelt, during the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) July 12 community services committee.
“At this time, there has been no resolution regarding our insurance claim for the failed slab. It is anticipated that this information will be received by September,” his report stated.
Bauman wrote that staff had refrained from proceeding with the 2012 capital works plan for the facility, which had included a lighting project as well the raising of a power line.
He listed roof maintenance, ongoing repairs and safety checks as the only notable expenditures “at this time” and thus predicted a surplus for the arena’s budget function in 2012.
Since there will likely be only one ice sheet to begin next season, Bauman also reported on the financial situation related to ice at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre.
According to him, user groups had made concessions during the June 14 ice allocation meeting, allowing youth to have priority while maintaining program flexibility.
“For the next season, adults play later than previously accustomed and youth make more use of early morning times,” he reported, adding that the community centre will likely be under more frequent use. “These hours of operation will require additional resources, mainly staffing.”
While more details are expected, the recreation manager predicted that ice rental revenues might be able to offset the increased costs.
West Howe Sound parks
Last September, the SCRD board adopted a recommendation to explore “what options are available to acquire all or some of the Crown land lots … at Emperor and Reed Road.”
Park services manager Carleen McDowell reported on that possibility last Thursday, a prospect that did not sit well with Area F director Lee Turnbull.
“I don’t think it would be in our interest as an organization to take that on,” she said, pointing to safety concerns she had noted in the area. “I’ve asked MOTI (the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) to take a look because I do think it’s related to drainage on Reed Road … I hear reports from residents on that hill that they hear rumbling.”
The committee received the report and opted to request a formal response related to those observations.
“Even if it’s not ours, it’s still a trail that is used by our residents and we want to make sure it’s safe,” said chief administrator John France.
A report from parks planning co-ordinator Sam Adams lamented the heavy maintenance costs related to trail grooming equipment purchased in 2006.
According to Adams, the SCRD currently owes $101,000 for its Piston Bully 100, which has a trade-in value in the area of $85,000.
“Over the last two years, repair costs for the Piston Bully have grown with more frequent breakdowns,” he reported. “Problems with the unit have included cracks needing welding, bearing failures and component failures.”
He estimated that, including a 20 per cent contingency, repairing the unit could cost around $46,000 this year.
“The SCRD does not have the capacity to look at upgrading to a larger machine at this time,” he said, predicting that such a move might require public consent through an alternate approval process.