BY RYAN WELLICOME
Despite some delays, the Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) hopes to acquire funding from Lacombe County for its proposed construction of an outdoor basketball court at ME Global Athletic Park.
The proposal will be featured in both the County’s and City of Lacombe’s 2017 budget deliberations where its fate will be decided.
“(LAPA’s) mandate and goal is to provide facilities for the residents of Lacombe and Lacombe County, so when we look at other facilities to add we looked at basketball as something that would fall under that mandate,” said LAPA Board President Murray Cunningham.
LAPA put forth its proposal to County council at its regular meeting on Aug. 11th, during which the decision was deferred.
According to County council the $45,000 decision was of enough significance to be included in the County’s budget decision process. The submitted request was for $45,000 of in-kind support, mainly to help with costs of creating the gravel base and some other site work.
LAPA had previously approached the City’s recreation department for an additional $45,000 of funding and the City replied that it would consider the proposal at its budget deliberations as well.
According to the County’s initial analysis of LAPA’s application, the request complied with all requirements but one, “The amount of the request being made to the County relative to what is being requested of the City.”
County policy states that the County can provide support but the amount must be determined by the County’s projected resident usage up to a maximum of 50% of the project’s total cost. It also states the urban municipality in which the project will reside must contribute support that also reflects the municipality’s projected resident use. Therefore, because the County’s projected use is 25% and the City’s would be 75% and given the request made of the City was $45,000, County policy states it should only contribute $15,000 to the project. Policy also states the County has discretion in providing support beyond policy regulations if an application does not meet all requirements.
The proposed project is to build a full size FIBA basketball court with four additional hoops located along the sides of the court. The court would include small bleachers and benches for changing and would have a plexipave acrylotex surface, similar to a tennis court. The court would be located south of existing bleachers on the southwest corner of the park between the playing field and the parking lot. The project’s projected cost is $175,000.
The decision by LAPA to attempt this project was, in part, based off the success of other basketball courts in Lacombe such as the court located on the corner of Woodland Drive and C&E Trail.
“There are people playing there all the time and so it’s actually a nice little cage study for us to look at and say ‘yes there will be people that come out and play’,” said Cunningham.
LAPA has acquired $11,500 in local private donations and is attempting to secure additional donations and grants.
For more information regarding submitting donations, visit www.lacombeathleticpark.ca.
LAPA is a non-profit group responsible for the development and operation of ME Global Athletic Park. The facility is owned by the City and is located on Wolf Creek Public School land.
The facility is multi-use and is utilized by multiple athletics and cultural organizations – including the Central Alberta Buccaneers and other local football, soccer, rugby and lacrosse teams – and is the setting for local, regional and provincial sporting and cultural events.
The park includes a field house which houses change rooms with showers, a concession, a media and spotting tower and public washrooms. It has two grandstand bleachers that can seat 1,500 spectators in addition to a field lighting system.
The facility’s field has an artificial turf surface and can function as a football field, two mini soccer fields, one regulation soccer field and a regulation lacrosse field.