Carbon tax, flood mit­i­ga­tion, min­i­mum wage hikes take toll on Her­itage Park

Coun­cil­lor says city may dip into rainy day fund to help Cal­gary’s ail­ing civic part­ner re­build $1.2-mil­lion dock

StarMetro Calgary - - CALGARY - TREVOR HOW­ELL

Al­berta’s carbon tax, min­i­mum wage in­creases and on­go­ing flood mit­i­ga­tion work on Cal­gary’s Glen­more Dam are tak­ing a toll on Her­itage Park, city coun­cil­lors heard Mon­day.

The com­mu­nity and pro­tec­tive ser­vices com­mit­tee heard from the heads of 17 civic part­ners at an an­nual meet­ing — many of which con­tinue to strug­gle in the aftermath of a painful two-year re­ces­sion.

While at­ten­dance edged up one per cent year over year, Her­itage Park has been dealt a se­ries of blows in re­cent years, elected of­fi­cials heard.

The park may re­quire $1 mil­lion to $1.2 mil­lion to re­place a dock for the his­toric SS Moyie pad­dle­wheeler — a top at­trac­tion and rev­enue gen­er­a­tor for the park.

The boat will be land­locked for at least 12 months while water lev­els on the reser­voir are low­ered to al­low for flood mit­i­ga­tion work on Glen­more Dam.

The $82-mil­lion project in­cludes the in­stal­la­tion of a new steel gate and hoist sys­tem that should im­prove the city’s abil­ity to man­age water stor­age, par­tic­u­larly in the spring when the risk of flood­ing in­creases.

Al­ida Vis­bach, pres­i­dent and CEO of Her­itage Park, said the SS Moyie would un­dergo much­needed re­pair work while it’s docked, but the park will lose an es­ti­mated $700,000 in rev­enue at the same time.

“It’s kind of a dou­ble whammy,” she said. “We are in­vest­ing in re­pair­ing it, which needs to be done, but we’re also los­ing sig­nif­i­cant rev­enue be­cause we can’t use the ship.”

Fur­ther, the park may need mil­lions to re­place the dock, which un­der­went re­pairs and up­grades fol­low­ing the 2013 flood, but likely won’t with­stand dras­tic fluc­tu­a­tions in water lev­els or ice buildup in the win­ter, said Vis­bach.

Rea­sons why the dock re­design is nec­es­sary at thes­tar.com

EL­IZ­A­BETH CAMERON/STARMETRO CAL­GARY

Ward 13 Coun­cil­lor Diane Col­ley-Urquhart said Mon­day that the city may need to pull from the fis­cal sta­bil­ity re­serve to help Her­itage Park as it strug­gles with ris­ing costs.

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