Surrey council has some big decisions to make when it comes to the budget.
The city’s draft budget, proposed by staff, calls for the postponement of several big projects, including the two-sheet Cloverdale Ice Complex on the fairgrounds.
Cloverdale Community Association president Mike Bola said it is devastating news, as the project was promised by the previous council.
“There is a huge demand for hockey, and even though the cost of putting your children into hockey is higher than soccer and what not, there is a huge interest in hockey. But the problem is Surrey does not have enough ice arenas or sheets of ice for the children to use for practices and games,” Bola said.
He added that lack of ice time has led to crazy practice times.
“Children at the Bantam level are getting up at 3:30 a.m. to go to their 4:15 a.m. practices; that’s how my son did it last year,” he said. “This year, my son is at the Midget level, and his practices don’t start until 10:45 p.m. They don’t end until 11:45 p.m., and we don’t get home until after midnight and he has to take a shower and go to sleep. Both of us have to wake up at 6:30 a.m. I have to go work, and he has to go to school. It’s crazy.”
Land stability issues surfaced recently, and the rising cost of steel was pushing up the price tag of the Cloverdale project.
“Whatever the previous council has approved, it should move forward, and anything new should be put on hold,” said Bola.
The draft budget also proposes that the Grandview Heights Community Centre and library be postponed, along with the expansion of the Fleetwood Community Centre and library, the relocation of the RCMP’s district office and land acquisition for a performing arts space.
Mayor Doug McCallum said last week that because of mounting debt, the city would be moving forward with a pay-as-you-go approach to spending.