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Public Works: Two outdoor skating rinks, Cobra climb on hold, Adopt-a-Road extended to parks/trails

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 18th, 2012

 

City residents should be able to enjoy two outdoor skating rinks this year in Kinnaird Park, after the city’s first such rink was met with overwhelming approval last year.

City director of transportation and civic works Chris Barlow says it was the very popularity of the venue that created a safety risk which ultimately made two separate rinks advisable.

“Last year, we built one big rink with a small snow berm in the middle, so you could have sticks and pucks on one side, and family skating on the other,” he said, explaining the snow berm wasn’t enough to prevent enthusiastic hockey players from knocking the occasional puck into the family skating side, where no one was wearing full safety gear.

“Now we’ll have two separate rinks, one for skating and one for hockey,” he said.

At its regular meeting Mnday night, city council gave the green light to a $15,000 expenditure from the public works operational budget to purchase boards, brackets to hold them, and the liners – assuming, of course, that the weather is conducive.

“Given the nature of an outdoor rink, it’s all dependent on weather – if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, we won’t have ice,” Barlow said, adding the newly-purchased materials will help city staff hit the ground running if and when a good freeze comes. “As soon as cold weather is on the horizon, we can build it and flood it much sooner.”

Meanwhile, recommended improvements, including lighting and a new parking lot, for the city’s popular Cobra Climb will be belayed for the time being, instead being brought forward for 2013 budget discussions.

Barlow said the lights and cages have already been purchased for roughly $3,500, but recommendations developed after public consultation also include constructing a new parking lot at the base of Cobra Climb, clearing out vegetation on pathways at the top and bottom, and painting the underside of the roof, for a total cost of $20,000.

In the interim, councillor Deb McIntosh (head of city council’s public works committee) said repairs and maintenance required for safety have already been completed.

Finally, the city’s Adopt a Road program has met with such success, they’re looking at expanding it to include Adopt a Trail and Adopt a Park options.

“How it works is, you adopt a section of road, and you pledge to clean that section of road at least twice a year,” Barlow said, explaining you then get a sign recognizing your efforts for that area. Given the enthusiastic response to the program, residents will soon be able to adopt other areas, too, such as trail and portions of parks. For more information, contact City Hall at 250-365-7227.

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