Council approves grant for Lifeless Man’s Flats outside rink challenge


DEAD MAN’S FLATS – The MD of Bighorn will provide a nearly $50,000 grant for the Dead Man’s Flats outdoor rink after the community suffered a financial squeeze due to inflationary concerns that have caused construction costs to increase.

Bighorn City Council on Tuesday (December 13) approved a $48,000 application under its community improvement program to provide the Dead Man’s Flats Community Association (DMFCA) for the multipurpose recreation area.

“I support the request for these funds,” said Reeve Lisa Rosvold. “The rink and shed are built and they look beautiful.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic impacts such as inflation, the initial cost of the facility has increased.

While DMFCA reduced their rink costs by $76,000 through volunteer donations and savings, they are still short of $48,000, according to their request.

DMFCA’s request said there are between 40 and 50 volunteers helping with the project, which is located in Dead Man’s Flats but is open to all Bighorn residents.

“The DMF community is both aware and excited about the completion of this project,” Christopher Long, President of DMFCA, wrote in the request. “Indeed it would be devastating for many, including most children in the community, to lose momentum at this point after all the excitement of being able to use the rink this winter.

“This project started after a door-to-door poll of what our community members would like to see for recreation (Dead Man’s Flats).”

The grant amount will represent approximately 14 percent of the project’s total budget.

“Despite the amazing work being done in terms of volunteering and in-kind donations, when they submitted their first application in 2019, there were changes related to inflation and supply chain,” said Doug Saul, Community Services Coordinator.

The association first came to Bighorn’s planning commission in the spring to present a proposal for a full-size skating rink for the hamlet’s community. The plan was that the ice rink, built each fall on a storm pond, would be part of the recreation area master plan for the area.

In addition to the ice rink, there will be a shed to store a small Zamboni and other maintenance equipment. It operates as an ice skating rink in the winter and a multifunctional outdoor leisure center the rest of the year.

The plan was approved but was appealed by the Subdivision and Appeal Board (SDAB) in August. The appeal argued that this could have an impact on wildlife, but could also lead to parking problems, more litter and an added risk of fire.

The SDAB decision allowed further development of the multipurpose outdoor facility and the council approved in September that the municipality would take responsibility for the maintenance and operation of the water supply connection and shaft chamber.

The council also waived water charges for DMFCA applicable to the hamlet’s water utility, which is to be shared by residents of Dead Man’s Flats.

Rosvold said she understands the difficulties the current inflationary crisis and COVID-19 are bringing to the project.

“I understand and sympathize that the budget has grown a lot bigger than they expected in 2019,” she said.

She also asked the various communities to work together to help cover the costs.

“I believe this is a great opportunity for our stations to work together,” Coun said. Jen Smith.

Station 1 has agreed to provide $15,000, Stations 3 and 4 have provided $5,000 and the remaining balance will come from Station 2’s improvement fund.

“I really appreciate the support from your community expansion fund,” Rosvold said.

CORRECTION: The printed version of the story only stated that Station 3 contributed $5,000, but it was both Stations 3 and 4 that contributed $5,000. Outlook apologizes for the error.