The City has agreed to contribute up to $250,000 toward expanded parking and a possible roundabout at the Cariboo Memorial Complex, to coincide with the pool upgrade.
A parking expansion would see an increase to 242 parking stalls by redeveloping the existing parking area and using a portion of the adjacent ball field space, while the roundabout would be located at the Proctor Street and Fifth Avenue intersection.
It is estimated with the roundabout factored in, the overall parking expansion will cost $1.55 million.
As it stands now, the parking expansion plan would see a four-way stop installed at Proctor Street and Fifth Avenue North.
During its regular meeting Tuesday, council received the funding request from the Central Cariboo City of Williams Lake Joint Committee.
While the additional funding is not in the city’s five-year capital budget, Coun. Scott Nelson said he supported approving the funding because there is already significant traffic congestion at the complex, let alone with an 86 per cent increase in parking capacity there.
“This is a political decision. This is the allocation of capital,” Nelson said.
“I think this is the right time. We’re spending $12 million on the pool and the last thing we want to do is ram everyone into an area and wreak more havoc.”
Coun. Ivan Bonnell was opposed to supporting the funding allocation until council begins its 2016 budget deliberations.
“I’m suggesting we defer this until we can determine whether we can undertake it in 2016 and if so in what capacity,” Bonnell said. “This is a plus, over and above. They already have a four-way planned within the development.”
With council’s approval the parking expansion project will now got out for tender for a detailed design stage.
“We need to get the design work done so we know how much it will cost,” Mayor Walt Cobb said, noting in the long run the roundabout could save the city money because eventually lights would be needed at that intersection regardless.
If the design comes in over the $250,000 mark then it will have to be a whole new discussion, Cobb added.
Cobb, along with Councillors Nelson, Craig Smith, Jason Ryll and Sue Zacharias voted in favour.
Coun. Laurie Walters was absent from the meeting.