Proposed Multi-Use Recreation Facility

Please note that the image of the multiplex above will no longer reflect the final design of the facility.
Please note that the image of the multiplex above will no longer reflect the final design of the facility.

The Town of Edson and Yellowhead County are embarking on a historic joint project.

Following many years of public input and facility studies, our communities have come together to start work on a new Multi-Use Recreational Facility.  The facility will include 2 NHL sized ice surfaces, a 4 sheet curling rink, court space, running track, fitness area, and a new pool area with a lazy river.

Conceptual plans are now complete on this estimated $70-million project and a new site has been selected. After much review, a site north of the Hillendale subdivision in Edson has been chosen. The capital cost for the project is being split 50-50 between the Town and County.

In December 2020, the Recreation Facility Project Management Contract was awarded to Turnbull Construction Project Managers.

In 2021, the project team and project managers requested Expressions of Interest from qualified Design-Build contractors who were qualified to design and construct the project.  From the responses received, the Town and County narrowed that list to the following proponent teams for further consideration: Clark Builders & TBD Architecture + Urban Planning, EllisDon & Stantec + HCMA, and PCL & GEC Architecture.

The goal is for proposals to be presented to the Town of Edson and Yellowhead County Councils in the spring, with potential ground-breaking at the Hillendale location in the late fall of 2022. The build time will span two-and-a-half to three years, and the joint Council-based Steering Committee directing the project sees no barriers to meeting that timeline.

The Town of Edson and Yellowhead County are proud to work together on this exciting project for our residents.

Recent Releases and Information

Site Selection

The Town of Edson and Yellowhead County Councils have selected a new site for the Multi-Use Recreation Facility Project.

Multi-Use Facility Site Selection Update (Feb 25, 2020)

Multi-Use Facility Site Selection Presentation (Feb 25th, 2020)

On Tuesday (February 25th, 2020), both councils held meetings and have confirmed a site north of the Hillendale subdivision as the official location for the new project moving forward.

During a Steering Committee meeting, committee members were given a presentation from Stantec on potential sites for the project. Three sites were reviewed for the project; the Hillendale location, the current Repsol Place site, and Griffiths Park. This review of multiple site options came from recent geotechnical findings that would result in increased development costs of the Griffiths Park location. With the increased costs at that site, the steering committee felt that a new review of all reasonable options was necessary.

Stantec’s recommendation was the new site north Hillendale as the Town of Edson owns a large piece of land in that area. This new site offers many of the same benefits as Griffiths Park but is more suitable for this new facility. Stantec found that the Hillendale location would be less costly, the project timeline wouldn’t be impacted, and there would be fewer disruptions to service.

The development cost for an entirely new facility at the existing Repsol Place site would have been approximately $8-9 million more than building a brand-new facility at the Hillendale site. It was also determined that utilizing the Repsol Place location would add 12-18 months to the project’s construction timeline compared to the Hillendale site.

The project scope, budget, and timeline remain the same, and both municipalities remain committed to moving this project forward.

Updated Tax Impact Estimate

The Town of Edson Council and Administration remain committed to minimizing the tax impact of the joint Multi-Use Facility project. During September 10th Committee of the Whole meeting, Edson Town Council received an update on those efforts.

See the full press release here

The initial tax impact numbers were based on the highest operational cost estimates and largest amount of capital needing to be borrowed. With further review of actual operational costs of similar facilities, and by adjusting the capital funding plan, it’s expected that the tax impact will be substantially less than the original estimate. Some of the changes to the calculation are as follows:

  • Operational Deficit projections from $3.5 million to $2 million - Further research into similar facilities showed operational deficits of less than $2 million.
  • Borrowing $9 million, down from the original $15 million. This was accomplished by planning to use more savings from the Revenue Sharing Agreement with Yellowhead County over a longer period of time, as well as the substantial grant money from the Federal and Provincial Governments.
  • Calculations now reflect the current lower interest rates.

*Every $1 million needing to be borrowed adds an average of $15 to the tax implications for a home assessed at $350,000.

Overall, this means the potential tax impact for Town of Edson residents is estimated at about $150 per year for an average residential or business property with an assessment of $350,000. 

This does not mean the work is over. Both partners will continue efforts to seek out grant and sponsorship opportunities, which could bring that impact down even further.

Tax Comparisons

Results of the Regional Multi-Use Recreation Facility Survey have been released. Along with the support breakdown for the project, the survey revealed a perception that taxes in Edson are high compared to other municipalities. Research has shown this is not the case. In fact, when taking taxes and municipal utilities into account, Edson is well below average for similar communities. See the comparison chart below.

Average Annual Municipal Cost Comparisons

Average Annual Municipal Cost Comparisons (With Multi-Use Facility)

Tax and utility rate comparisons are done annually to ensure the Town of Edson is competitive with our area municipalities.

Average Annual Municipal Cost Comparisons (2019)
Average Annual Municipal Cost Comparisons (2019)

Projected Cost Breakdown

The capital cost of this project is being cost-shared 50-50 between the Town of Edson and Yellowhead County.

$20 million of this project is being funded through a Federal Infrastructure Canada Grant.

The remaining $50 million of this proposed $70 million project will come from a combination of Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant money and municipal funding (approx. $25 million Yellowhead County and County MSI grants / approx. $25 million Town of Edson and Edson MSI funding).

The operational split will be 60-40 Town-County based on an operational agreement being drafted.

Tax impact estimates have been revised as Council and Administration continue to work on lowering costs to residents. Original estimates were based on "worst case" situations for both capital financing and operational deficits. This has been updated by revising the capital plan and getting more realistic numbers for operations based on similar facilities.

With this in mind, The Town of Edson plans to use a combination of $26-million in savings and $9-million in borrowed money to cover our portion of the construction costs. This means Edson residents and business owners can expect to see an increase in taxes to cover the cost of the borrowed funds and anticipated operational expenses.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Based on today’s interest rates and expected operational costs, Edson taxpayers will see an estimated $42.70 increase in taxes yearly per $100,000 in assessment.

For an average household of $350,000 it would equate an approximate increase of $150 per year…about $12.50 a month.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

To break it down even further, for about $0.41 per day, Edson will gain a first-class recreational facility that will fit the needs of our community for decades to come.

Check out our online calculator below (Town Residents and Businesses ONLY) to get your own personalized estimate based on your property assessment.

*Note. This Calculator uses 2019 millrates and a higher interest rate than is expected.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The estimated tax impact calculations include both capital borrowing costs as well as operational cost estimates.

The operational impact, about $26 per year for the average $350,000 in assessment, would be ongoing for the life of the facility.

The capital tax impact, about $124 per year for the average $350,000 in assessment, would last for the 30 year borrowing term.

Tax Impact Calculator

Edson residents and businesses ONLY

Contact Information / Steering Committee

To contact the Steering Committee please forward any correspondence to the respective Chief Administrative Officers Luc Mercier (County) or Christine Beveridge (Town). The information will then be provided to the Steering Committee for review.

The following is a list of Steering Committee members for the project.

  • Wade Williams (County)
  • Anthony Giezen (County)
  • Dawn Mitchell (County)
  • Luc Mercier (County CAO - Advisory)
  • Kevin Zahara (Town)
  • Krystal Baier (Town)
  • Greg Pasychny (Town)
  • Christine Beveridge (Town CAO -Advisory)