Lacombe County wants more time to consider Red Deer College’s $2-million request to help build a multiplex boasting two indoor ice rinks, fieldhouse, indoor running track and fitness and testing centres.
College president Joel Ward made the pitch for funding help for the facility, which is expected to cost $40 million to $50 million, to the county in March.
The facility, which will also include regulation and Olympic-sized ice surfaces, an athletic zone featuring soccer pitches, tennis courts and baseball diamonds, motion and dance studios and classrooms, is being touted as a community asset that will be used 60 per cent by the public.
However, county councillors were cautious about entertaining the funding request at a time when the municipality is in the middle of a developing a recreation master plan to guide how various programs and facilities are supported.
Coun. Rod McDermand was doubtful there was enough money to go around to support local projects as well as a major undertaking like the college’s. The county has a number of communities that need new arenas and curling clubs and will ask for county help.
“It takes away from the home initiative and gives it to Red Deer — which might be a great idea.
“But I don’t think you can do both.”
Coun. Cliff Soper was concerned about approving funding for the college before the master plan has identified local needs.
“I think it would be unwise to make a commitment to anything.”
The master plan is expected to be done by the fall.
Council unanimously voted to defer the college’s funding request until the plan has been adopted by council.