Saskatchewan

Wascana Centre needs cash infusion to maintain Regina's urban park

The park that some refer to as the 'jewel' in the Queen City's crown needs an infusion of cash to keep it shining, says the board of the Wascana Centre Authority.

$2M in 'urgent' core infrastructure repairs required to 'ensure public safety'

Wascana Centre Authority is asking for more money from the city, the province and the university to maintain its sprawling urban park in the centre of Regina. (Kevin O'Connor/CBC)

The park that some refer to as the 'jewel' in the Queen City's crown needs an infusion of cash to keep it shining, says the board of the Wascana Centre Authority.

In its latest budget request, the board is asking for $2-million in "urgent core infrastructure" money to fix up roads, trails, irrigation systems and bathrooms in the park.

"We have some bumpy roads, our trails could be better... [and] our public washrooms need a lot of help," says Bernadette McIntyre, chief executive officer of the authority.

The Wascana Centre Authority says "it is becoming increasingly difficult" for it to maintain service levels on its trails, roads and facilities without a correlating increase in funding. (Stefani Langenegger (CBC))

It also wants an increase in its operating budget of $270,000 to cover labour and inflation costs, during the next financial year beginning in the spring of 2016. 

Wascana Park, which sprawls across 930 hectares of Regina, is maintained by the Wascana Centre Authority, which receives money from the provincial government, the city of Regina and the University of Regina.

"We're the capital of Saskatchewan and Wascana Centre is the host of all those grounds. So I think it's important to the people of Saskatchewan, to the tourists who come here and most importantly to the people of Regina to keep this a beautiful place," McIntyre said. 

The first proposal for more money goes to the city's executive committee on Wednesday. Its share of the requested budget boost is $84,000 in operating money and $600,000 for the deteriorating infrastructure.

The provincial government has said it will consider the request as part of its usual budget deliberations.

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