By Trevor Busch
Town council is still weighing options with regard to the the construction of a multi-use sports complex in the community.
At their March 14 meeting, town council voted unanimously (6-0) to accept as information the (amended) motion of the Taber Recreation Board regarding a Multi-Use Sports Complex. Coun. Laura Ross-Giroux was absent from the meeting.
The rec board had discussions in 2015 with the Multi-Use Sports Complex Committee regarding their proposed project. Following those discussions, the rec board determined they wanted to see the outcome of the Recreation Master Plan before proceeding with further discussion with the group. The rec board has now viewed the draft Recreation Master Plan, and the user group was invited for discussions at the board’s March 3, 2016, meeting.
Following deliberations at this same meeting, the rec board voted unanimously to support the Multi-Use Sports Complex in principle, and advise council of this support so this committee can start the process of seeking available grants.
During council’s March 14 meeting, Coun. Randy Sparks pointed out a discrepancy in the motion previously passed by the rec board on March 3, as it appeared in council’s Request for Decision, which did not include the phase “in principle” which in Spark’s assessment potentially changed the original intent of the board’s motion.
“First thing, the motion isn’t right,” said Sparks. “I believe that the words ‘in principle’ cast a little different meaning than what this motion says.”
There are currently no funds allocated by the town for the development of a Multi-Use Sports Complex. Several components of the facility as well as the facility itself are included within the Recreation Master Plan. Town council had previously been hesitant to endorse the project until the findings of the Recreation Master Plan which were officially released on March 2.
One of the scenarios in a feasibility study released by the multi-use facility development committee involved a building that would contain an 85-by-200-foot long indoor soccer complex that would have artificial grass and under it, a core-rubber floor in the sprung structure. Football, lacrosse, major gymnastics competitions, walking paths, volleyball, basketball and tennis were various other activities committee members mentioned in the past the complex could be used for, along with non-sports activities in the plethora of activities that could take place in the venue like concerts and meetings.
“They have vastly decreased what they want to do,” said Sparks. “They want to build more of a bare bones facility, and so the cost associated with it has been vastly reduced from the numbers that we have been given in the past. So they were asking for support for this project — not saying they’re going to go ahead with it — support so they can start the process of seeking grants.”