Irricana splash park closed this summer
Rink will not have ice in winter due to budget cuts
Due to budget cuts the Irricana splash park will be closed this summer and there will be no ice in the outdoor rink in the winter.
According to administration the Town of Irricana cannot afford to keep either of the venues open.
Earlier this year, under pressure from residents to hold the line on taxes, Irricana council directed administration to cut $90,000 from the operating budget. Staff was directed to decide where the cuts would be made, which resulted in layoffs, the office being closed on Fridays and cuts to recreation programs.
CAO Alvin Melton advised the cost of running the splash park is about $5,000 per season.
Deputy Mayor Andrew Carr brought forward an unofficial petition-style document signed by about 100 people and made a motion to have administration readjust the budget and find the funds necessary to open the splash park.
“We can get the $5,000 back with other cuts such as looking at training travel,” Carr said.
Councillor Frank Dusome agreed.
“We (council) are, at the end of the day, the ones that decide if this cut was an acceptable cut or not,” he said.
“As a representative of the people, our job is to go back to the table.”
Mayor Lisa Constantini was against the reconsideration.
“I am opposed to the motion to open the splash park based on the fact that administration did what was wanted of them,” she said.
Councillor Larry Martin agreed with the mayor.
“Regretfully, we have no money for it,” he said.
Councillor Josh Taylor was also opposed to reconsidering the water park closure.
“If we follow this through, we would have to cut some other project, and then we will have other people asking why don’t we have this, so I vote no,” he said.
This brought the final vote to 3-2, defeating Carr’s motion and closing the door to reconsidering the splash park closure.
Constantini suggested because the park was a Lions Club initiative, citizens could present (a funding request) to the Lions Club.
“Five thousand dollars is a spit in the bucket. You are taking away from the children. I could probably walk out there and find a place to cut $5,000 in a heartbeat,” said resident Wendy Rose during question period.