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
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
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.