April 10, 2013 - 11:00 AM
Hillside Stadium and the Canada Games Aquatic Centre celebrate 25 years tomorrow, an anniversary that also brings with it big new maintenance bills to keep the Tournament Capital Centre in top shape.
Budget talks this year saw council agree to start giving the Tournament Capital Centre an annual repairs budget of $375,000, in addition to an existing $30,000 maintenance budget. Council saw it as a way to ensure future management plans move forward and smaller items springing up can be covered as well. Staff had requested $340,000 for the roof replacement and transferring $400,000 from equipment reserve funds to cover the track improvements.
The increase to the annual budget for the centre will help cover the roof replacement, recommended to be done soon to avoid any big problems, and over two years will also be able to cover the cost of the indoor and outdoor track improvements but will leave staff to plan very carefully for future items.
In addition to needing improvements to the track and the roof replaced with in the next couple of years, the bleachers, lighting, heating and ventilation systems will all need an upgrade within the next five years.
During the March budget meeting, Coun. Tina Lange said she wanted to see users pay more instead of taxpayers, saying the “TCC is our jewel, and it takes a lot of abuse, a lot of people go through there, we need to look at increasing charges.”
Council mulled over that idea a bit, as well as the option of infrastructure funding, but decided to go ahead with increasing the maintenance budget in the meantime.
This week parks staff gave a brief overview of 2012. Parks director Byron McCorkell said TCC still does more on an annual basis than expected and following a strategic focus on sustainability, a change to the pool maintenance program has seen an annual reduction in water consumption of 2.2-million litres.
For the third year in a row, the centre reached one million visitors (not including the gymnastics centre) in November. The B.C. Lions football team also held its third consecutive training camp at Hillside Stadium and plans for future years are being negotiated.
Hillside Stadium has a lit turf field, all-weather track, two grass fields and seating for 1,800. The centre also features a gymnastics centre, fitness centre and a fieldhouse featuring indoor track and two hardwood courts. The Canada Games Pool features an Olympic-length pool.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013