Proposed costs increase for Stettler’s would-be skatepark

Proponents of a new skatepark for Stettler hope to clear final planning hurdles within months.

Proponents of a new skatepark for Stettler hope to clear final planning hurdles within months.

“We certainly hope to start (construction) this year,” said Lee Penner, the town’s director of parks and leisure services.

Penner and the Stettler Skatepark Association reported to town council last month.

The proposed skatepark has two portions — the heart and the bowl — but the costs for building a park of that magnitude have gone up this year.

Last fall, the heart was estimated to cost $350,000 and the bowl $100,000.

The 2014 quote for the heart was just more than $400,000 and the bowl was $134,000.

The price went up because there’s an earth-removal component, council was told.

Penner presented three options to speed up the planning and start construction of the skatepark.

The first is to construct the bowl and the bottom half of the heart only.

The second is to delay the spring construction in order to do more fundraising.

The third is to start construction on the full heart and bowl, with the town providing funding while the skatepark association continues to raise money.

“We want to see the completion of Phase 1,” said Penner, referring to the heart portion of the skatepark.

Council agreed to review the skatepark plans in June — or earlier.

In the meantime, the skatepark association plans to continue raising money for the project.

‘At risk for sewer backups’

In other council business:

The sewer main in the 55 Street lane has deteriorated and needs to be replaced. The original company hired to do the replacement has backed out, and it’s necessary to find a replacement contractor to complete the project.

Director of operations Melissa Robbins recommended hiring Urban Dirtworks, which has worked with the town before.

“If we don’t repair sewer mains when they deteriorate, we find ourselves at risk for sewer backups,” Robbins said. “It’s just being proactive.”

The town originally had a budget of $300,000, of which $67,000 is left. With the cost of Urban Dirtworks and the engineering company that consulted with them, the project is estimated to be over budget by about $272,000.

Robbins suggested reallocating $275,000 from the town’s 2014 Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding.

Council agreed to hire Urban Dirtworks and reallocate the funding to repair the sewer main.

This year, council budgeted $500,000 to replace the water and sanitary mains just behind the KFC. The town, however, believes those mains are located in contaminated soil, and the town has been told not to proceed with those projects unless it’s prepared to remediate the contaminated soil.

“The town is not prepared to deal with those costs,” Robbins said.

She recommended that the town delay the projects for a year to test the soil further, and council agreed.