Council discuss how big a bandaid is necessary for Penticton sportsplex

FILE PHOTO - A tear in the sportsplex roof can be easily seen in this photo, taken June 17, 2015.

PENTICTON - Nearly a year after the roof of the Adidas Sportsplex was damaged in high winds council has finally agreed to spend the $350,000 necessary for interim repairs to the soccer field.

A staff report urged council to consider spending the money to replace a broken heating system and make sturdy enough repairs to the fabric roof of the indoor sports fields that another decade of use could be made of it was reveiwed skeptically by several councillors, who were looking for a less costly 'bandaid' solution to the issue.

Treasurer Colin Fisher told council discussions around warranty for the roof are ongoing and currently in confidence.

Coun. Andre Martin was one of the council members to side with the smaller bandaid approach for now.

“We may end up coming back to do all these fixes, but in the next 12 months we’ll find out exactly where this complex fits into the whole scheme of things. Maybe it might make more sense to have a permanent, hard roof on it if that’s feasible, and it might cost us $2 million, but at least it’ll give us 30 years of life as opposed to 10,” he said.

Facilities Manager Bregje Kozak called the facilities master plan a huge undertaking, describing the sportsplex as an integral part of the city’s facilities which could be dealt with quickly in order for staff to focus on the city’s other aging infrastructure.

“We see this one as important. It’s well used, and it needs to be addressed. In looking at the facilities master plan, we’re going to have to be knocking these buildings off one by one," Director of Operations Mitch Moroziuk said after council's first vote on the staff recommendation resulted in a stalemate. "The number two building that’s going to need to be done is Memorial Arena, and $350,000 isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference in the money you’re looking at with that."

Moroziuk also said he didn’t know where the city would expect to get money to put a hard roof on the sportsplex, now or in the future.

"You’ve got a $30 million dollar problem now, and you want to add to it?” he asked.

Chief Administrative Officer Eric Sorenson also waded in, noting if repairs weren’t properly done, a second tear in the roof could result in total replacement.

“The future cost could be well in excess of $350,000, and given our financial state, we won’t be fixing it, we’ll be tearing it down,” he said.

The advice was eventually enough to sway Coun. Campbell Watt to change his opinion, resulting in a second vote in favour of the staff recommendation, with only councillors Martin and Helena Konanz opposed.

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