The construction of a splash park at Spirit Square will be added to the Village of Burns Lake’s 2020 financial plan. (Lakes District News file photo)

Burns Lake splash park one step closer to reality

Outdoor ice rink currently not included in the project

Burns Lake is one step closer to getting a splash park at Spirit Square, according to the Village of Burns Lake.

The project, which had been scotched by Burns Lake council in 2018 but was put back on the table last April, will be added to this year’s financial plan.

On April 23, 2019, council approved spending up to $30,000 toward site planning, design and engineering for the splash park.

The scope of the project — which originally included an outdoor ice rink and was estimated to cost between $280,000 and $340,000 — has changed since it was first proposed, said Sheryl Worthing, the village’s chief administrative officer, adding a report outlining the project’s new scope, cost and timeline will be presented to council within the next few weeks.

At this point, the project does not include an ice rink component, Worthing said.

The municipality started looking into the possibility of a combined splash park and ice rink at Spirit Square after being approached by the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce a couple of years ago.

Village staff have since contacted other municipalities, playground equipment suppliers and makers of splash and ice rink parks to explore the options available.

But the addition of an ice rink component would be too costly, according to a village staff report.

While the installation cost is relatively small, the increased staffing hours for village crews would be a large added cost and strain to current workloads, states the report.

The report also explores the possibility of using natural ice, or connecting the rink to the arena’s existing refrigeration plant — significantly reducing the cost to have the ice surface refrigerated, which typically adds 50 per cent to the cost of the park.

The splash park would use a water recycling system that requires minimal maintenance, and the water would be replaced annually, adds the report. The facility is expected to be available free of charge.

Building out infrastructure such as splash parks increases a municipality’s livability, according to the village. The project also aligns with the municipality’s master plan for Spirit Square.

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