June 24th, 2024

City council greenlights Peenaquim disc golf course

By Tim Kalinowski on August 12, 2021.

Herald file photo - Signs marked the area as the City began planning for the new disc golf course in Peenaquim Park earlier this year.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

The Peenaquim disc golf course will be going ahead as planned after council was satisfied it has now received full information on the scope, costs and potential environmental impacts of the project.
City staff presented councillors on Tuesday with a full reporting of questions that had been asked during the July 13 council meeting. At the time, Parks staff admitted it had not done a full financial breakdown of the project to present to council at that meeting, nor had it brought the new larger scope of the project before council prior to that date.
The report submitted to council confirmed the scope of the project had changed significantly since it was first conceived in 2020. The City anticipated at that time it would only cost taxpayers about $8,000 to prepare the ground for the disc golf course through the addition of signage and basket installation. However, concerns expressed by users of the adjacent off-leash dog park necessitated the inclusion of a fence which will cost $30,000 to set up.
At the same time as preparing the disc golf course for users, Parks also felt it was important to now include a paved parking area, which would help both those wanting to engage in disc golf and users of the nearby shooting range when overflow was needed. The cost to put in the paved area will be $45,000.
These two additional expenditures were on top of the $8,000 originally proposed for course preparation.
The expected cost of yearly upkeep of the course will also be another $1,100-$2,200 per year.
Director of Infrastructure Services Doug Hawkins said the monies for the setting up, paving and fencing will be taken out of a fund set aside for new park development which is paid into 50/50 by the City and local developers, and will not have any additional impact on the Parks operating budget. The yearly upkeep costs, he said, could be absorbed within the existing maintenance budget without undue impact on services in other areas.
During the July 13 council meeting Coun. Rob Miyashiro had also asked for more information on the potential environmental impact of the project.
City staff confirmed in its report presented on Tuesday that the proposed disc golf course was being constructed on the site of a former feedlot and had very little native plant life left to impact. The proposed fencing around the site would also be kept to four feet tall to allow the free passage of deer and other wildlife through the course. A coyote den in one corner of the disc golf course had been accounted for with the course now planned to leave significant leeway around where the den is situated. The report said the only negative interaction reported with coyotes in the area had been in the off-leash area, when a coyote previously attacked a dog, and did not anticipate any negative interactions with users of the disc golf course.
“Potential conflict between coyotes and people are higher when people are alone and much higher if a dog is present off leash,” the report concludes. “This spring a coyote attacked and injured a dog off leash in the area. Potential conflicts between disc golf players and coyotes is less likely because it is typical to play in small groups without dogs.”
The report also confirms mowing and other maintenance activities will be timed to reduce the potential impact on any ground nesting birds found in the area.
City council unanimously received the report for information on Tuesday without additional amendment or directive, effectively greenlighting the project to go ahead with construction as planned and budgeted.
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