Georgian Bay Sports Fan

commentary & opinions on the sports and political scene

WASAGA REC PLANS MOVE FORWARD, NO REPLIES FROM COLLINGWOOD

Peter Dunbar who is leading the Wasaga Beach strategic plan for recreational services was on the Chats program this morning giving an update.  They seem to be moving strongly forward in getting public and department input into the future needs of the town.

Their survey response is at almost 3% and they continue to have public open house meetings for small group and one on one discussions.  They’ve also met with major user group and potential new user groups on a new facility.  

From previous posts you’ll recall that Collingwoods response to survey on the potential Central Park redevelopment was only .08% and we don’t believe they’ve had any consultation with user groups.

We’ve attempted to contact Marta Proctor, Director of Parks, Recreation and Leisure for comments on what user groups are going to be consulted in planning for the new multi use facility.  It should not only be advisable, but essential that the town is aware what the needs of the groups are and what their means are  to utilize a new facility.

Do we want junior hockey back?  Then there needs to be 1500 seats.  Does minor hockey need more ice?  Then it must be affordable..no use in building a facility where ice costs are going to be double.  Are adult leagues interested in returning to town?  Then prime rates can reflect their ability to pay vs youth programs.

One of the things the Steering Committee was tasked with was putting together a 5 year operating budget pro forma and a capital cost projection for the project, which shouldn’t have been difficult.  We spent a few hours this weekend looking at 6 other multi use facilities built or planned in the last five years.  Costing options are easily estimated for a variety of building types as well as various revenue and expense projections for different operating models.  This was not done by the Steering Committee, and instead has been passed on for the Feasiblity Study recently commissioned at $30k.

Some towns use “for profit” models where the facility is expected to not lose money and you can see ice costs projected up to $300 hr…..most however use “community” model where the facility is expected to lose money but is considered an essential service to a community.  We believe this is the right way to do it.

As Collingwood moves forward with its feasibility study we will continue to ask which groups are being considered and what the pro forma projections are for its operations.  Maybe we’ll drop a 5th email to Leisure Services today…..

Ed

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