The Maple Leaf pool is one project that will be funded through the new recreation infrastructure program of the city.
Chris Holden, city manager of Regina, called the 2020 budget the most exciting in recent history because of what it is going to do for community recreation and culture.
Holden said, “I get very excited about the quality of life. When we live in a city we all expect to have water and roads, but really I think people choose to live in communities for what they can do with their children and families.”
The council approved $3 million for an ongoing culture and recreation program during the 2020 budget. The money will be used to fund spray pads, accessible playgrounds, multi-use pathways, the Globe Theatre’s new public art program, and renovations.
The fund was created by eliminating managerial positions in the city hall worth $3 million.
In addition, parks, recreation and culture will be funded by 0.5 percent of the 2020 mill rate increase and any increase in the mill rate over the next five years. The fund’s going to have $10 million by 2024.
Said Ward 2 Coun, Bob Hawkins, “It means for the first time we’ll have monies to put into the things that our recreation infrastructure report recommended,” This could be for pools, sport facilities or a new aquatic centre.
Since the 1980s, the city has tried to fund projects in its recreational master plan. The report was updated in 2010, but no funding was available yet. It’s been updated for the third time this year.
Holden said, “In terms of dedicated funding, Regina has never really had” any for recreational infrastructure. This sets us up to move forward on those plans in a very positive way.”
Holden has been a proponent of adequate funding for recreation and culture because of what he can do to help crime.
Holden said that:“If we can make sure our youth have opportunities to do constructive activities, that allows us to make sure our young people are growing up and not getting involved in delinquent activity and not getting involved in gang activity.”
He said there have been a number of examples, especially in the U.S .where “investments in parks and recreation can reduce some of the societal issues and issues facing a community.”
“You might eventually be able to cut funding for police services.”


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