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City commits to recreational facilities

The City of North Bay has made new recreational facilities a priority for 2021. 

During budget talks on Thursday, the General Government Committee identified two recreational facilities as a priority for next year.

A concrete pad which could be used for basketball, tennis and pickleball is being considered for 2021 with a planned cost of about $300,000. The planning and design of a pump track or multi-use skate park is also being considered, with a potential tab of $125,000. 

City staff prepared a report to the committee following Wednesday’s meeting where council indicated it wanted to go ahead with the building of some recreational facilities. 

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The potential multi-use court would cost $300,000 for its planning and construction in 2021. The court would be big enough for one full-sized basketball and tennis court, which could also be broken up into multiple pickleball courts. In the winter, the concrete pad could be converted to an outdoor skating rink. 

While prioritizing capital projects at the end of the meeting, all but one councillor identified the project as a priority for 2021, with councillor Mark King as the only one wanting to push it off to 2022. 

“A great vision for 2021,” commented committee chair, Tanya Vrebosch at the meeting. 

Councillor Johanne Brousseau says she’s “95 percent” confident the court will be built in 2021. 

“It’s something the basketball association and the pickleball association has asked for the past few years. I’m glad we kind of all rallied together and will make this happen in 2021,” said Brousseau. 

Currently, there are no municipal facilities with a basketball court other than those seen on the grounds of public schools. 

“If this is popular, then we can look to putting more in other areas,” Brousseau added. 

The proposed multi-use skate park or pump track was initially put on council’s radar after a presentation in September. 

City staff researched the costs of beginning the building process of a facility that is being dubbed as an “all-wheel plaza” for bicycles, scooters and skateboards.

Beverly Hillier, Manager of Planning for the city, said the project still needs a “fair amount of work” when going over the report with the committee on Thursday. A $125,000 tab for the design and planning of a skate park was provided for the 2021 budget. 

The committee agreed to keep the cost for planning for 2021 with the commitment to have the rest of the financial picture painted by 2022. Community fundraising or support from higher levels of government was suggested by council members. 

“We just want to have citizens involved and committed to this good cause,” Brousseau says, adding the Friends of Rotary Splash Pad was largely funded through community efforts. 

The final cost of these projects is subject to change after this week’s slate of city hall discussions intended to hammer out the final details of next year’s budget.

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