Water park proposal gets green light

Long-debated lift station steered to District budget

The money to fund a lift station for a water park in Centennial Park got a thumbs up from the South Cariboo Joint Committee (SCJC) on July 14.

Providing the 100 Mile House Waterpark Society can raise the remaining funds it needs to build the splash components of the park by spring, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) 2016 recreation budget is poised for amendments to cover installation of a lift station.

The committee asked water park representatives at the meeting if this will satisfy them to move ahead with the Centennial Park location, and society treasurer Von Rywaczuk said “yes.”

He explained that while initial feedback from the public preferred the South Cariboo Rec. Centre property for a water park, this was recently revealed to be cost prohibitive for the foreseeable future.

CRD community services manager Darron Campbell reported that he estimates costs to build at the rec. centre at $295,000, compared to $111,000 at the park.

This is partly due to the playground already at the park, which is a usual feature to complement any water park, he said, adding park also has brand new equipment installed last year.

Campbell added the best site at the rec. centre for considering a water park currently accommodates the Outriders equestrian arena.

While the arena is in the long-term plans to be moved, he explained this is not likely to happen in the short term, and involves additional costs.

However, Campbell pointed out several other benefits and drawbacks to both sites, and noted it was up to the committee to decide where it wanted to go.

District of 100 Mile House operations director Phil Strain added he and Campbell have discussed these.

“The park is definitely a preferred option – also just aesthetically – and we did look at some access issues that the water park society brought up; wheelchair accessibility, some parking issues, things like that.”

He said some of those issues could be looked at down the road in long-term budgeting, but already having the playground is a bigger factor.

Rywaczuk added the society did go back to its contractor to see about reducing the project scope.

“We spoke to him about reducing the size of the plan, just as far as it [could] financially cost less.”

Noting the contractor needs to first know what the lift station/utilities will supply, such as water pressure, Rywaczuk said he will put him in touch with Strain.

Strain agreed to that, but explained the original flow rate is what he used for lift station calculations, so it should be sufficient for a smaller project.

A spring 2016 target date was agreed upon by the committee and Rywaczuk, to allow time for the society to do more fundraising.

Strain said the infrastructure construction and water park installation can be done simultaneously.

“It is, at tops, a six-week project to put that lift station in and get all the piping in, and it’s going to take at least that long to build it, so it’s not like we’d be holding them up.”

Last fall, the previous SCJC members had declined paying (or pursuing grants) for a lift station in the park, but this did not deter the waterpark society in its tenacious lobbying to the District and CRD for its project.

However, the current SCJC voted unanimously to recommend the funding approval.

CRD directors will need to formalize that decision, but because they sit on the SCJC (with District council), its recommendations are typically a shoo-in.


100 Mile House Free Press