Delta will be taking control of the land under North Delta Secondary’s running track, whether or not a grant application to turn it into a competition-level facility goes through.
During the in-camera council meeting on Nov. 19, Delta council voted to enter into an “offer to purchase” agreement with the Delta School District.
This agreement would see the land the track is on — currently owned by the school district — sold to the city for $1. Because the track is part of two larger parcels of land, a legal plan of the proposed subdivision has to be completed before the land can be transferred.
The idea of transferring the track land from the Delta School District to the city has been around for some time — ever since the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program made upgrading North Delta Secondary’s track facility financially feasible.
The program will see up to $135-million in federal and provincial funds contributed to community, recreation and culture infrastructure projects in its first year, and Delta wants to get some of that funding. However, the NDSS facility would only be eligible if it was municipally-owned — hence the transfer.
During the election campaign, now mayor George Harvie pledged to bring Delta’s school track and field facilities under city control.
“All of council is looking forward to finally refurbishing and building this new track [that’s] much, much needed in the North Delta area,” Harvie said during the public council meeting on Nov. 19.
The city and school district have until Jan. 23 to submit an application for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program grant. The school board voted to work with the city to create a preliminary work plan for the track and field facility in October.
The new NDSS track could cost anywhere between $1 million and $10 million; the lowest cost is for simple drainage work and resurfacing, while the upper cost could encompass an eight-lane track, synthetic turf field, new lighting and parking area.
Budgeting for the track will be brought forward for council’s early approval during the 2019 financial plan process, as project design and costing becomes more concrete. Grant funding for the track would cover just over 73 per cent of the cost.
The first round of grant funding will become available during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. However, even if the grant application isn’t successful, the city still has to begin work on a new track and field facility before the end of 2021.
If the city hasn’t started, the Delta School District will have the right to repurchase the land for $1.