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Council hopes to get project on track

Bonnyville may be getting a smoother outdoor running surface. Bonnyville town council decided to offer contracts to two companies to resurface the running track at Walsh Field at its meeting on Wednesday. “It's another asset for the town to have.

Bonnyville may be getting a smoother outdoor running surface. Bonnyville town council decided to offer contracts to two companies to resurface the running track at Walsh Field at its meeting on Wednesday.

“It's another asset for the town to have. It's an opportunity especially for the schools to take their kids to a reasonable facility where they don't have to worry about gopher holes, they don't have to worry about shale, and they don't have to worry about flooded tracks. It's a good opportunity to promote the sport,” said Yellow Jackets Running Club coach Larry Godziuk after the decision was made.

Godziuk, who is also a teacher at BCHS, said although he runs an indoor club, the community would benefit from an upgraded outdoor running track.

Council voted in favour of offering R. Batke Oilfield the contract for sub grade at a cost of $216,485 and Blue Flame Contracting the contract for surface base prep and asphalt at $199,590. With on-site engineering and supervision, the total cost of the initial upgrades to the running track will be $457,074. At press time the contracts have not been confirmed.

The provincial and federal governments will contribute $152,358 each to the first phase of the project through the Canada-Alberta Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. The Community Facility Enhancement Program will kick in another $125,000 from provincial lotteries. The Town of Bonnyville will need to fundraise $27,356 to add to the CFEP grant to match provincial and federal CAMRIF contributions.

Vic Stapleton, director of recreation/economic development, said fundraising that amount shouldn't be a problem. “It would provide us with a super facility for the schools and for the community for the next 25 years,” he said. “It adds to the ability to host provincial or regional events.”

Council is keen to move ahead on the project, which would lose grants if it were not started this summer.

The project received approval for up to $520,000 by the CAMRIF, meaning there could be an additional $42,000 left over to go toward phase two. Phase two is an all-weather surface at a cost of $201,702. Council deferred the decision on phase two of the project until fundraising for the outstanding $159,752 is confirmed.