Financing for Buffalo Pound plant renewal, Regent Par 3 golf course lease on Regina city council agenda

(File photo)

Financing for the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant, leasing part of the former Regent Par 3 golf course land and a downtown heritage property were some of the topics on the agenda for Wednesday’s city council meeting.

There was a debate around the Burns Hanley Building at 1863 Cornwall St.

Recommendations from administration include keeping the building a designated property within the boundaries of the Victoria Park Heritage Conservation District, or approving demolition that is subject to the property owner entering into a heritage easement and covenant agreement.

The property’s owner, Harvard Development, was looking for an approval for demolition with plans of adding a pocket park and mural showing the facade of the building and heritage significance of the site.

“In the interim condition, our objective is to bring people downtown as many ways as we can,” said Rosanne Hill Blaisdell, president of Harvard Development.

The item was tabled on the amendment that council deny the demolition and let the building stand and will be revisited at the next council meeting.

Mayor Sandra Masters said it comes down to different philosophy’s of heritage conservation when it comes down to deconstructing and reconstructing the facade.

Councillor Bob Hawkins, for example, said he would rather see “real heritage.”

BUFFALO POUND PLANT RENEWAL

A delegation from the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Corporation (BPWTC) are looking for approval to be able to finalize procurement.

The joint venture team at Graham-AECON, who was selected to lead to project subject to approval from the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw.

The lump sum proposal for the project is $252.8 million, which is $72.8 million higher than the initial cost estimate.

In the delegation, the BPWTC requested the approval of additional financing to a maximum of $55 million from the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw.

“The last time there were major upgrades to the water utility plant were in the late 1980’s and so we’re definitely reaching the end of the useful life,” said June Schultz, director of the BPWTC.

Council approved the recommendations from administration for financing the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant.

The recommendations included giving the plant authority to negotiate financing to a maximum of $55 million that would address the additional financial requirements from the plant renewal projects.

'RELATIONSHIPS WILL GROW AND FLOURISH': CORONATION PARK COMMUNITY GARDEN

The site of the former Regent Par 3 golf course was also discussed, with a proposal for the Coronation Park Community Association to lease part of the land.

The course was demolished in 2020 to make room for new development including a potential dog park and community garden.

“My hope is that the diversity of people living in Coronation Park, that neighbour will get to know neighbour, relationships will grow and flourish and Coronation Park will become a community that is less afraid of each other and more healthy and caring for one another,” said Darrell Reine, chairperson of the Coronation Park Community Association.

He said the total cost of the project is around $75,000, with much of it coming in through grants.

Council voted to approve entering into an agreement for the lease of the portion of the City-owned property located 560 Elphinstone St.

A property tax exemption for Coronation Park Community Association was also approved for the portion of the property in the agreement.

MEETING WITH THE PRIME MINISTER

After the council meeting, Mayor Masters reflected on the meeting she had with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.

She was in Ottawa on other business and had arranged meetings with MP’s when 30 minutes with Trudeau became available.

“To have discussions about, frankly, the infrastructure programs that the federal government is currently funding like you’ve heard here today at council the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant,” said Masters, “We could not be doing it without the infrastructure money that’s coming from the federal and provincial governments.”

The trip was inspired by members of council and both the Warehouse and Downtown Business Improvement Districts who have been seeking opportunities to learn from other cities on a variety of topics, ranging from heritage to downtown activation.