Pratt updates RDEK on Idlewild Park

Cranbrook mayor says work on the park is progressing, but not as fast as anticipated.

There has been a lot of concern about the state of Idlewild Park following the decision by the City of Cranbrook to draw the water levels down.

Earlier in the spring, after a report identified structural deficiencies with the dam, the city chose to draw down the water levels to prevent a possible breach.

At Friday’s RDEK board meeting, Cranbrook mayor Lee Pratt gave an update on the situation to fellow directors, and admitted that the process hasn’t gone as fast as the city had hoped.

“The drawdown is going a little slower than we anticipated,” said Pratt. “We’ve had a few issues, some with the equipment of the dam itself and the valving, and we got that fixed.

“Then, of course, dealing with the ministries on the fisheries and environment and so we’ve had some issues there that we didn’t anticipate but we’re working on them and moving forward.

“We feel that even though it’s taken a little longer than anticipated, we’re progressing well and once we get to the point where we want to be, we’ll start getting going on the design and the rebuilding of the facility.”

Pratt adds that once the city is at that stage, there will be opportunities for public consultation and service organizations to get involved with the planning.

“We’ve already had a survey done with a great turnout of answers on it, so we’ll be putting all that together for when we get the design and the planning and what the end is going to look like,” Pratt said.

“From the city’s standpoint, we want to do it right, we want to make it bigger and better than what it was and also look at it as being a great community building project.”

Pratt added that the city has applied for a federal gas tax grant to help with the infrastructure costs of the project.