Councellor Schreyer Approves Budget Changes For Valley Gardens Community Centre

Sharing a Common Goal !

Councillor Jason Schreyer and his son, Jared, really have a ball at Valley Gardens Community Centre with former treasurer Harkamal Saggi and his son, Phoenix Soccer player P.K. Saggi.

On the request of the Board of Directors of the Valley Gardens Community Centre, Councillor Jason Schreyer has agreed to allow for changes to budgetary allocations already reserved for the centre.

It had been initially planned in 2015 that $600,000 would go towards the development of a spray pad right at the site. It is now ratified that $150 ,000 from the fund will go towards a site master plan as well as towards some immediate field enhancements. The remaining $450,000 will remain for the future installation of the spray pad. It’s the master plan that will be the real challenge.

There are surprising complexities involved, including contemplating the community centre’s future relationship with the adjacent Terry Sawchuck Arena and its fields, and the Elmwood Kildonans Pool. Also, the fact that the Terry Sawchuk sports fields are built on a landfill site adds other feasibility problems. “I could see that members of the Board had a lot of good questions, varying ideas and justifiable uncertainties as to even where to put the splash pad” said Schreyer.

“The previous board and president managed to keep all options open during a whirlwind of negotiations, so we’re now in a great position to make the best long-term decisions.

After the election, and with changes to the VGCC Board, Councillors Wyatt and Schreyer were informed at the January 2015 Board meeting of their wish to put the splash pad.

project on hold, get some field improvements done and make further decisions based on a greater understanding of the possibilities and feasabilities.

It was at that point that Schreyer stated that he would be calling an open house and would rely on community consultation in making any decisions. Wyatt and the Board encouraged more open houses.

Councillor Schreyer moved his motion at the East Kildonan – Transcona Community Committee meeting of May 6, 2015, which was passed unanimously with Browaty and Wyatt. It then went through the vetting of the Executive Policy Committee before being ratified by Council on May 27.

Councillor Russ Wyatt had also been working on the issue for over two years before Schreyer was elected. It happens to be that there is an onus on Schreyer as the entire Centre is in his ward, which holds the good majority of the catchment, though shared with Browaty’s and Wyatt’s wards.

Field upgrades include irrigation for primary soccer fields, baseball diamond and turf upgrading.

Site master planning will involve option exploration, cost analysis/asset investment strategy, and opens house forums.

Schreyer is giving a heads-up that he will be calling on open-house forums and public consultations before making his final decision.