District defers many proposed projects

Houston council cut many projects from the 2015 budget. Most were proposed Leisure Services projects.

Houston council cut many projects from the 2015 budget.

They discussed the projects at a March 3 finance meeting, and adopted a final projects list March 17.

Starting with a list of projects totalling $657,800, council made cuts until costs balanced with the $250,000 in 2015 tax money income.

Most of the cuts were Leisure Services projects.

Director of Leisure Services Ryan Coltura proposed several projects for Jamie Baxter Park, including $45,000 for new play space equipment, $30,000 to revitalize the skateboard park and $30,000 for improving the BMX track.

Coltura says the skateboard park and BMX track are under-utilized and need new features to draw user interest.

Council deferred the Jamie Baxter upgrades until the Parks Master Plan is done.

Coltura also proposed $65,000 to replace the lobby floor in the arena and $25,000 to re-paint the arena interior.

Council rejected both projects.

Councillor Dawn Potvin said the arena floor might be a project to fund through a grant from Northern Development Initiative Trust, as the arena benefits local business by drawing visitors to town.

Council deferred two projects for the Houston Community Hall.

The first is a $15,000 project to resurface the Community Hall floor and the second is tables.

A proposed $14,000 was set to replace 20 round and 20 long banquet tables, which Coltura says are constantly being repaired with several no-longer usable.

Council deferred both, opting to fund new drapes for the Community Hall this year.

Council also deferred an Emergency Power Outage project, which proposed the District buy a new $64,000 generator and $55,000 for hookups at the arena and Community Hall.

Chief Administrative Officer Michael Glavin said the District could rent a generator fairly quickly and easily if needed.

Depending on the type of event, if there was a prolonged power outage, the District would likely contact the schools in Houston and request to use their facilities for emergency housing, Glavin said.

Council deferred the project until they can get a grant.

Another project deferred was reclaiming the Walcott Pit for $28,000.

Glavin said the District is almost out of gravel reserves and has a major gravel extraction coming up.

“Part of that money is to start looking for another pit, and part of it is to test the type of gravel left… The second part is reclamation, to put back the banks of the pit and reseed it.”

Glavin says most municipalities just buy gravel, as it is very accessible.

 

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