Open house for Coronation regional recreation centre

Coronation Crown.(Terri Huxley/ECA Review)
Written by Terri Huxley

With two major community facilities reaching their end of life, Coronation is looking at potentially building a multiplex facility to provide a multitude of opportunities for the 3C’s communities and beyond.

It was made clear by Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Quinton Flint who made the presentation for Coronation council’s review on Mon. Nov. 23 that this project is still in its infancy stages, with no money invested from the town or county so far.

An open house is scheduled for Dec. 3 to let members of the public share their thoughts and concerns while also learning about what the project entails.

“We will shed the light to see what it would take to get a multipurpose arena built here,” said CAO Flint.

Anyone interested can register in advance to ensure Covid-19 protocols are met.

The proposed building would consist of two major sports centres under one roof including an ice arena and curling rink.

A kitchen, four or five spacious change rooms, a first aid room, a couple storage and office spaces and more are proposed for the $19.5 million facility.

Not only would this space cater to indoor sports but also to the local golf course by providing golf cart parking and visitor seating in the kitchen/patio area.

The hope is to have it stationed on top of the northern two ball diamonds and will be 5,968 m2 in size on one level.

Flint explored this ‘rabbit hole’ of culture and if this facility would be supported.

Numbers on current teams and how they are comprised were added to demonstrate a portion of this interest.

The open houses will also give an idea of how people feel.

Council passed a motion to accept this presentation as information and to pursue further to see what others think about this idea.

Housing grant

The Coronation Wellness Society asked council for a letter of support for an infrastructure grant they wish to apply for by Dec. 31.

The grant, if awarded, would act as a long term loan for affordable housing for vulnerable populations such as seniors, indigenous peoples and women.

The Wellness Society is hopeful of expanding social services to develop affordable housing, housing security, seniors housing, and a place of refuge and sanctuary.

The Housing Authority has taken the first steps to begin the application process to secure funding to provide for these types of needed housing.

Currently, they have large-scale forgivable loans and have approximately $500 million in this stream for municipalities across Canada.

The local society is working to build partnerships with non-for-profit organizations within the community to ensure that funding can be secured for social assistance housing.

This project will be done under the Rapid Housing Program, where the development of housing units will need to meet a 12-month construction deadline to ensure the funding and housing are made available as soon as possible to those who are in need.

With the help of council who agreed to give a letter of support during their meeting, the housing authority is optimistic it can secure a loan from CMHC to construct between six and 10 housing units by May of 2022.

These units were described as two or three bedroom modular homes that can be placed at various empty lots around Coronation.

If they do secure funding, the grant will cover the entirety of the project.

This loan is dependent on the type and size of the housing project and has forgivable aspects, as long as the federal government’s criteria are met.

“The more we can cater the more money we get,” said CAO Flint.

Lions Club lights

Council previously received two quotes for the installation of LED Lights in the bowling alley of the Lions Club Building.

Since then, both contractors have retracted their offers as they felt having their offers being made public made their quotes and subsequently their businesses look bad.

Administration asked for this portion to be tabled to next meeting for a private conversation which council agreed.

This action from contractors also led administration and council to review and subsequently change their purchasing policy.

Section 7 of this particular policy required the town to seek a minimum of three quotes which were proposed to be removed so staff do not have to chase companies for quotes on whatever projects they need completed.

“We have been experiencing a lot of kickback from businesses. We are getting a lot of flack about misrepresentation that has been damaging their businesses,” said CAO Flint.

“The other part of that is that we are seeking out quotes which is time consuming. If we don’t get the quotes we have to follow up and chase them.”

CAO Flint recommended council remove Section 7 and instead have administration present a detailed outline of what is needed.

“So say we need lights, then we need to explain that we need 16 lights and these types of lights are what we want or something equivalent. And so that will have to be placed on the website, into the newspaper, in the newsletter or posted somewhere where businesses can then go and bid on those jobs.”

“We’re getting mixed information and then getting accused of not presenting them with enough information so it’s dangerous for both sides,” said Flint.

Dep. Mayor Mark Stannard said that sometimes the town is unsure of what is needed or what the best product is to use.

“How much time do you waste on research to do that?” said Stannard.

The mayor stated the town should have a better understanding of their ask for bids and set an end date to accept these bids.

The CAO mentioned there has been an issue with the town choosing a certain brand product which can make one company who doesn’t use that product as it may look inferior by damaging that different type of technology.

“We can’t win. It’s not a thing you can argue. One company is dealing with one brand and another company is dealing with another brand and then we are saying their product is not superior. We are getting kickback for that too,” said Flint.

Coun. Brigley suggested the town could then supply the product and then have companies only bid on labour costs which administration said could be possible.

Council directed administration to come up with an updated recommendation to include upgrading the town’s website to allow for online bidding on upcoming contracts which will be presented at the next meeting.

Sick leave policy

With new legislation put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the town has noticed a few rules in their sick leave policy that are no longer suitable for current employees.

The current suggestion is to introduce three new clauses into the policy to ensure that employees are being cared for while COVID-19 and illness test communities.

CAO Flint mentioned that other ways of securing time off have been drying up with staff using up vacation time, holiday pay, banked time and more in the meantime.

“COVID has thrown a twist in all of those rules,” said Flint.

The town recently received $110,000 from the MOST Grant which is specifically meant to help communities during the pandemic.

Council agreed to continue the conversation in private before passing any changes as they did not want to compromise any individual employee’s situation.

“These are our biggest assets – These are our people,” said Coun. Jackie Brigley.

Once out of the closed session, council directed administration to come up with a new policy to be presented at a later council meeting.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.