Kamloops Riverside Park Outdoor Skating Rink Blows Up After $ 4.2 Million Grant Fails | iINFOnews

FILE PHOTO – Kamloops City Council is due to decide on September 27 whether the city will replace the existing spray park with an outdoor rink.

(JENNIFER STAHN / iINFOnews.ca)

September 28, 2021 – 8:30 a.m.

The City of Kamloops is set to revitalize Riverside Park, but a new funding direction means council must decide whether the park will have an ice rink or whether the existing spray park will remain.

City staff are giving council three options tomorrow, September 28, to decide the future of the project and asking for more funding to do so.

Last year, council approved a plan to replace the spray park with an outdoor skating rink to rebuild the park’s existing infrastructure that sits at the intersection of the two Thompson Rivers.

That approval included two grant applications to fund the project, but one of those grants was not approved, according to a staff report.

READ MORE: Why Kelowna is the only city in Thompson-Okanagan with this unique type of outdoor rink

A provincial flood mitigation grant was approved, but a recreation grant that would have contributed more than $ 4.2 million to the construction of the outdoor rink was unsuccessful.

The first option for the board is to proceed with the outdoor rink, which has already been approved. Without grant approval, the City will have to spend an additional $ 4.3 million in capital funding.

If the council decides to continue with the outdoor rink, the design work is expected to be completed in 2022 and construction in 2023.

There is also an estimated annual cost of $ 120,000 to operate the rink. The highest portion of the operating costs would be energy, estimated at $ 56,000 per year, followed by maintenance of the ice plant and Zamboni, snow removal and the cost of a staff member.

City staff are presenting a second option that would replace the spray park and washroom instead of building the ice rink.

READ MORE: Archeology of Famous Kamloops Park Shows Its Long History and Cultural Significance

It would cost an additional $ 1.75 million, but the new toilets would be solar-powered and designed for year-round, gender-neutral use.

City staff would also install brine lines under the new spray park, at a cost of $ 100,000, to allow for the possibility of installing an ice rink there in the future.

The last option would see a new spray park but slightly improved toilets. While this option would only add $ 250,000 to the project, the cost includes minor renovations to the existing building for the equipment of the mechanical spray park.

The entire project is part of a larger plan to revitalize Riverside Park.

The other major element of the project aims to protect the park area against possible future flooding.

The Rivers Trail will be elevated to prevent flooding of sanitation systems, while stabilization and erosion control will be underway west of the pier.

READ MORE: The Thompson River kayak rental pilot project in Kamloops did not hold up

Construction is also expected to include new lighting in some areas and better accessibility to the beach.

Due to inflation, the City will need to approve an additional $ 250,000 for the flood mitigation project.

Depending on the option chosen by council, the total combined construction costs at Riverside Park are estimated to be between $ 3.6 million and $ 6.15 million, of which $ 750,000 is through grants.


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