County contribution to pool project tied to new recreation agreement
An artist's renderings of the proposed aquatic centre. Supplied/City of Camrose
As renovations to the City of Camrose aquatic centre move ahead, discussion over a proposed new recreation agreement appears to be muddling Camrose County’s contribution to the project.
Camrose County passed a motion in February to provide $2.64 million in capital funding to support the City of Camrose Aquatic Centre Expansion and Modernization project, with the capital funding to be funded by debenture over 25 years. This was on the provision that the City agree to enter into a new Recreation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with funding based on an annual percentage of the total County taxable assessments.
While the County holds firm that the recreation agreement and the contribution are non-negotiable, the City passed a motion in April stating that it is unable to accept the contribution with the conditions attached.
The $2.64 million was included in the 2018 capital budget, although no agreement had been reached regarding the new recreation agreement.
Administration staff from the County and the City met May 10 to discuss options for moving the project forward and five areas of dispute were identified with regards to the recreational agreement. It was indicated that the County has no appetite for reconsidering its contribution to the increased costs associated with the final project budget.
The City has figured the County contribution based on 10 years of user data to be $640,000. Currently the City is recovering about 38 per cent of their costs through rentals, user fees etc. if they take out the towns and villages as part of the contribution that number drops to $545,000 per year and does include the costs associated with the new pool, without the new pool the City calculations show that the County contribution should be $490,000.
As of May 22, the total cost of the pool project was $17,233,503, with shortfall from Camrose initiative to be sought through fundraising initiatives, County contribution and through reserve funds totalling $4,333,503. The cost of the pool increased from an original estimation of $12 million, which is what the County originally agreed to with id proposed $2.64 million contribution to the project.