The Non-Partisan Association council is going to announce imminently that it will put the $20 milliion for a new Trout Lake community centre back into the capital plan for 2009-2011.
That’s coming as a great relief to community centre presidents, who got alarmed when all money for community centres got dropped from the capital plan in the spring. That was because the plan — which is essentially the spending for any large projects in the next three years that has to be approved by voters during the civic election — has been squeezed by the ginormous cost overruns for the Olympics-related community-centre improvements of the last three years. That’s the Trout Lake and Killarney ice rinks, plus the complete makeover of the Hillcrest centre, which will be the Olympic curling facility in 2010, then the community centre and swimming pool after.
As well, all kinds of police and fire big-budget items are also on the ticket.
Danny Yu, president of the Marpole Community Centre, said it’s a relief that the NPA have decided to restore at least one community centre to the plan. (In case you’re confused, the Trout Lake ice rink is just one part of the community centre, so it will have a beautiful new ice-rink building soon and then the regular main part of the community centre is what the tussling is over.)
He says the park board renewal plan, which aims to keep replacing the city’s aging centres at a regular rate, has only been proceeding at one community centre every seven years, when it really needs to be one or two every three-year capital plan.
He and others will be at the city’s Sept. 15 public meeting on the capital plan to also get the council to at least put in some planning money for the next two centres on the list, Marpole and Hastings.
Don’t you love election time and the way it loosens the purse strings