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Municipality working to fund new activity area in Red Lake

BY CLAIRE CUDAHY

The Municipality of Red Lake has drawn up the plans and begun the funding process for a new activity hub located outside of the Red Lake Recreation Centre.

Dubbed Red Lake’s Recreation Cluster Enhancement Project, the development includes an overhaul of the outdoor rink, a splash park, new playground equipment, a washroom/changing room facility, and additional parking along Hammell Road.

For the outdoor rink, the plan calls for repaving of the foundation, replacement of the boards, and the addition of a durable and translucent fabric roof. Energy efficient lights will illuminate the rink at night.

“It would become a year-round activity centre,” says Red Lake Municipal CAO Mark Vermette.

The cover and paving will allow the facility to be used for concerts, farmer and flea markets, and other community events and festivals during non-winter months.

The splash park will replace the current basketball court and contain “whimsical water features,” according to the staff report approved by council on Nov. 9.

The landscaping outside the Red Lake Recreation Centre will also get a facelift under the enhancement project.

To accommodate the anticipated increase in activity, the project calls for backfilling of the drainage ditch along Hammell Road—and the addition of culverts to compensate—to create more parking for events and festivals.

Lastly, a washroom/changing room facility will be built at the end of the newly constructed outdoor rink garage.

The Municipality estimates the project will cost $1,648,674 and has begun the process of applying for funding through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

The Municipality plans to contribute $412,169 to the project.

“We’re at a minimum of six months knowing where we will sit with most, if not all, of these funders,” notes Vermette.

Vermette says the Municipality would like to see construction take place in 2016, but the timeline is contingent on when the funding comes in.

“We’re at the investigative, preliminary stages,” explains Vermette. “Right now everything hinges on the availability of funding, but we’re hoping that this project will come to a reality at some point.”

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