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WHEREAS municipalities have an aging recreation facility infrastructure that was put in place with assistance from provincial funding programs such as the Major Community Recreation (MCR) and Community Recreation/Cultural (CRC) Grants;AND WHEREAS the Province of Alberta and the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association completed a Recreation Infrastructure Study which found that over $500 million is required to rehabilitate this infrastructure framework; AND WHEREAS funding from the existing Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) and Community Lottery Board program is insufficient to address these needs and to save this recreation infrastructure from total collapse, particularly when spread over so many smaller, uncoordinated and unplanned community projects;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to review funding priorities so that funds can be made available to save the recreation infrastructure currently in place, before facilities are lost that could have been preserved through prompt action.
Recreation infrastructure in most Alberta communities was built with the assistance of provincial grant funds. The Major Community Recreation Grant and the Community Recreation/Cultural Grant helped build the pools, arenas, curling rinks and halls that we have in the province today. Since those grant programs were available in the 1970s and 1980s, the facilities they helped to build are now growing old. In a study of the recreation infrastructure in Alberta (1997-2000), the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association found that there were 56 indoor pools, 49 outdoor pools, 238 arenas, and 137 curling rinks in Alberta. Of those facilities, more than 77% will be over 25 years old by the year 2005. The value of this inventory is well over $500 million (current dollars). The study found a variety of problems with these old buildings, such as permanent ice lenses under the floors of arenas, corrosion in many of the buildings due to humidity problems, roof and wall problems from overloading, and poor ventilation and insulation.Many other issues are also impacting the future of this infrastructure. These factors include population migration, an aging population and new trends in recreation, and are influencing demands for recreation programming.Funds are needed not only to address the decay found in many of these buildings but also to refurbish, replace and revitalize the opportunities they are designed to provide. If steps are not taken to save the viable infrastructure that is already available in many Alberta communities, the opportunities they provide now and the potential they would have if they were rebuilt for the future will be lost to the wrecking ball.