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Hands needed to complete spray park

Unexpected costs continue to put Turner Valley’s spray park behind schedule.
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Unexpected costs continue to put Turner Valley’s spray park behind schedule.

While the equipment is installed and almost ready for operation, Barry Crane, chairman of the Foothills Lions Club Spray Park Committee, said excavation costs nearly doubled to $55,000. This means most of the $30,000 budgeted for landscaping will need to be raised, Crane said, adding he hopes people will donate the materials and labour needed to do the work.

“Our concrete is sitting way high (above the ground) and all the play features are up,” he said of the park’s current status. “Kids have been clinging to the security fence watching and the school is just abuzz that it’s built. The kids really want to see it this year, but the reality is we will probably turn it on, making sure it’s working, and winterize it.”

Crane is asking residents to donate materials, equipment and labour to landscape the site before the ground freezes. About 1,000 cubic yards of dirt is needed, in addition to sod.

If the materials and labour isn’t donated, the Foothills Lions Club will spend the next few months raising money before work can begin, putting the project even further behind schedule, Crane said.

“The landscaping right now is our big push,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of fill to put in.”

Completion of the spray park was delayed earlier this year while awaiting approval from the Province’s Community Facility Enhancement Program grant.

When the Lions Club received $75,000, half of what it requested, it asked for $125,000 from the Town to make up the shortfall, as well as $60,000 in unexpected expenses for excavation work and to purchase an ultraviolet disinfectant system.

In addition to the completion of the water treatment systems and play structure, construction of the mechanical house and change/bathrooms exterior is almost complete.

Interior work will take place over the winter as funds are available, said Crane.

Fundraising initiatives are currently being planned.

The first is Turner Valley’s new car wash company Wash Barn’s grand opening and fundraising event at 121 Edgar Avenue on Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with proceeds going to the spray park.

Burgers will be sold and 50 per cent of proceeds from every car wash on Sept. 13 and 14 will go toward the cause.

The second phase of the spray park will begin next year including planting memorial trees, installing benches and other beautification work. This, too, will require fundraising, said Crane.

Although there is still work ahead, Crane is excited to see the project close to completion.

“I volunteered almost every day this summer from June 7 to present,” he said. “Just watching a three-year project come from a concept to fruition has been so rewarding and the smiles on the kids’ faces at the pool and the handshakes from the public. To be $25,000 over budget, no big deal. It’s just a small bump in the big picture.”

Crane said the success of the project is a result of hard work from the Foothills Lions Club and contributions from the Town and its residents.

“The right people have come forward at the right times to make every day as productive as possible,” he said. “There has always been a lot of community support and the Lions Club has really been the backbone of this project from day one. It just speaks miles of their dedication to community.”

Turner Valley Mayor Kelly Tuck said the spray park will be a great addition to the community.

“I see it as another venue for our children to go and be able to play safe,” she said. “The $125,000 that we put into it, those dollars were well spent because that belongs to the community. Everyone has rallied around it. Everyone had a little piece into it.”

Tuck is also eager to see the project complete.

“I would go down weekly and see how things are going and get more and more excited as it turned from nothing and transformed into this beautiful park,” she said. “(The children) just can’t wait for it to be built. Next year those kids are going to have the best place to play.”

For more information, to donate to the park or to volunteer contact Barry Crane at 403-933-5385.




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Tammy Rollie

About the Author: Tammy Rollie

Tammy Rollie is a staff reporter at OkotoksToday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper, focusing on Wheel's West, local arts and culture and entertainment. For story tips contact trollie@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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