City of Regina looking to redirect money for new aquatic centre

The City of Regina will be asking both the federal and provincial governments to redirect transit infrastructure money to help pay for a new aquatic centre.

The City has received $128 million from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) to put towards transit. However, the City is looking to put that money towards a long-awaited new aquatic centre.

Mayor Sandra Masters said with a Transit Master Plan already in place, she feels they will be able to address their major transit issues.

“We can’t spend $128 million probably in the next five years just based upon the Transit Master Plan. It’s spaced up until 2039,” she said. “In 2009, the Master Rec Plan said to build a pool; in 2019, the Master Rec Plan said to build a pool. We’ve made all these investments in public transit, and we’ll continue to make investments in public transit, we have a plan now for that framework of how to spend that money, but right now, in the next five years, we think its a pool that has the highest priority.”

Masters said to build the new aquatic centre, they will need help from other levels of government.

“You just don’t go out and spend $150 million on a project without funding coming from other levels of government. If it’s not now, we will just be relentless in terms of the next traunch of major funding that the federal government will create, and they continue to do this, so does the province.”

She said that they’d had a hard time building the aquatic centre due to the building of Mosaic Stadium.

“I think that in 2013 we asked for provincial and federal money for a stadium, and we built a stadium. We didn’t plan and put together the plan and prospectus for the other rec facilities that we need to build. We built a stadium, and sort of everything else got put on pause, and so right now we are playing a bit of catch up in terms of determining, needs assessment, feasibility studies, how to package up what we need built.”

If the request is denied, the City will use the money for three other projects, including wastewater capacity upgrades ($90 million), facility retrofits ($14 million) and a package of projects to enhance public transit pedestrian connectivity ($24 million).

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