A Problem with the Park
The Somerset Water Park has been in existence since 1993 when GENSTAR constructed the facility with the City of Calgary. Since that time the Somerset Residents Association (a group of volunteers that live in the community) has been managing the water park and area surrounding.
The Spray Park feature is now over twenty years old and is in need of major repairs. The SRA has done a stellar job over the years of maintaining this to the best of its ability through the services of a Contractor. The approximate yearly cost for this contractor is $95,000. The water used in the Spray Park is constantly tested and measured and subsequently sent to the City for their capture.
Due to the age of the park the SRA has spent close to $20,000 over the last two years in order to maintain and repair the Spray Park to operate at an acceptable level. In addition, the design of the Spray Park is dated, the infrastructure is becoming harder to maintain, and the chances of the Spray Park malfunctioning are increasing. This past summer, the City presented a water bill that was nearly three times what we have paid previously (approximately $17,000 when it should have been closer to $6,000). This is concerning as the operating costs appear to be increasing. We know we have suffered from vandalism to the irrigation and the Spray Park, but the concern is more about the ongoing safety and operation and the Water Park offering/amenity to the Residents of Somerset.
We have a number of options for consideration, for which we would appreciate your responses please.
- Replace the Spray Park (approximate cost: $2,000,000)
- Replace the Spray Park with a large, complex Jungle Gym (approximate cost: $200,000 – $400,000)
- Remove the Spray Park, replace with a green area with picnic-type features (approximate cost: $100,000)
- An option of your choosing
Please vote for your preferred option or provide one of your own at somersetwaterpark.org. This poll is designed to gauge the general consensus of the community. It is by no means meant to provide an official direction, as all options have differing complexities and costs. For example, turning it into a picnic area is relatively doable. Replacing the spray park meanwhile would entail an incredible amount of effort and money, which is a significant challenge for a volunteer organization.
With any upgrading, there will be significant costs and investment required. This may be achieved through fundraising, donations, or through increasing the yearly Residents fees. Without community support in fundraising efforts our only choice is to increase fees to raise the funds needed. This will be discussed at the AGM. As you can see from our park budget, we won’t be able to make strides in any direction without significant help coming from somewhere.
Before any decisions or recommendations are reached, I would welcome you to contact us and provide your prompt responses so that we can address the best ways to prepare a Spray Park for our Residents’ families.