A final vote for a location for a proposed indoor facility is expected at the next Cranbrook city council meeting. Concept art provided by Mike Robinson/New Dawn Developments.

Indoor facility vote expected next council meeting

City council has punted a final decision on a proposed indoor multi-use facility to its next meeting, after getting some clarity from volunteers and stakeholders on some lingering project details.

Both Mayor Lee Pratt and Chief Administrative Officer David Kim were absent from Monday evening’s meeting, and councillors present didn’t want to make a final decision without their input.

However, Councillor Norma Blissett moved a motion that the city offer land for the facility at Balment Park, which will be on the agenda for the next regular city council meeting on Feb. 25.

Councillor Wes Graham served as acting mayor for the meeting.

“It is unfortunate that we can’t come to a decision tonight, but I think we’re all ready to make a decision and get this project going,” said Graham. “It’s going to be exciting for the community and I look forward to having a decision at our next council meeting.”

Council got the chance to question Mike Robinson, the lead volunteer spearheading the indoor facility, who has raised $950,000 for the project so far, which is hoped to get underway by March with planning and geotechnical work.

There are concerns that some of the grant funding could expire if the project doesn’t get moving soon.

“We do have confirmation that we do have to have this constructed in 2019,” said Robinson. “Looking at all of the tasks that need to get done before you break ground, we are coming down to the wire here for timelines.

Additionally, there is roughly $260,000 that has been raised by local businesses and individuals with donations made through the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies, which can’t be refunded if the project dies.

The facility proposes to be an air-supported dome of 2,600 square metres with indoor heated floors on artificial turf. Robinson hopes the facility will cater to a number of different sports besides soccer, such as baseball, lacrosse and football, as well as various community uses.

There are also separate phases to the vision of what the indoor facility will look like, as getting the foundation and bubble up and fenced is the first priority, while a second phase — which is still fluid and conceptual at this point — could include a fieldhouse and outbuildings.

The indoor facility proposal morphed into an election issue after a decision was made behind closed doors to offer land at Moir Park last year. The Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) did not agree to the location out of fears that board volunteers would be on the hook for projected annual operating losses of $34,000.

Councillors made it very clear that the decision and discussion next meeting would be open to the public.

“I think we need to have a council decision on this for the next council meeting and I don’t see any reason why that would be a closed decision,” said Councillor Ron Popoff. “My expectation is that it would be an open public discussion and decision.”

While Balment and Moir Park have been the two main proposed areas, Council also wanted staff to look into three different areas of Balment Park to ensure that the facility wouldn’t negatively impact the BMX track.

Robinson has spent the last few months updating the proposed user base of the indoor facility, which range from sports organizations to trade shows, conferences, and daytime school use.

Blissett noted that 54 per cent of Cranbrook’s student population would be within one kilometre of the proposed Balment location, while no schools are within that same distance at Moir Park.

The airlock entrance for the dome can large enough to drive a vehicle through, confirmed Robinson, which will be a boon for trade shows, conferences and concerts.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Stoll reflects on his time with Kootenay Ice

Ice alumnus Jarett Stoll talks about championships, fans and what it means to come back to Cranbrook

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

WATCH: Blitzville winter festival thrills Cranbrook

High-flying snowmobile stunts took over downtown Cranbrook over the weekend. Led by… Continue reading

Cranbrook hosts top volleyball players for provincials

The College of the Rockies are gearing to host the PACWEST Volleyball Championships from Feb. 21-23

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read