As Merritt city council recently deliberated the 2024 budget, a number of capital projects were discussed to improve the city’s recreation facilities this year and beyond.

“We actually have a group of things that need to be done in the Civic Centre and in the arena, as well as the aquatic centre that show needs over a number of years, like flooring, a roof for the Civic Centre, there’s some HVAC issues in some of the buildings,” City of Merritt CAO Cynthia White told council.

“One of the things we’re going to do is evaluate and make some enquiries into a green public buildings fund, it’s one of the federal funds, where we can use any retrogrades or upgrades to a building that is public access that will reduce the carbon footprint of it, we can apply for that funding.”

Big-ticket items included a $65,000 estimate to design a new floor for the mechanical room in the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre, as well as a replacement for the sound system at a price of $24,000. $18,500 was also asked for to improve the player benches at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena.

“Players and our junior A hockey team are sitting on stairs, because they don’t have enough room on the benches,” said White.

As for looking ahead to the future within this year’s budget, 2025 and beyond capital plan projects include replacement of the showers at the aquatic centre at a pricetag of $99,000, replacing the slide for an estimate of $58,000, and replacing the mezzanine floor at the arena for $60,000.