A $1.3 million amendment to the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) financial plan for the G.P. Vanier artificial turf field project received approval by the regional district’s committee of the whole at its meeting July 16, and will be considered by the board for final approval on July 30.

The amendment will allow for changes to the capital expenditure program for the Comox Valley track and field service to reflect projected costs in 2013 for design consulting services, and field construction costs and funding in 2013. The amendments would be consolidated into a bylaw for adoption at the end of the year.

CVRD staff have been working with several community partners on this project and funds are being contributed by the City of Courtenay, Comox Valley United Soccer Club (CVUSC) and the CVRD. A fourth partner, School District #71 (SD 71), is providing the land for the field. Discussions between the partners on use, operating, maintenance, replacement, booking and other financial matters are in the final stage of negotiations.

“This collaborative approach to bringing this new playing field to fruition will benefit so many members of the community,” said Edwin Grieve, Comox Valley Regional District board chair. “An asset like this will be utilized by youth and adults alike.”

In order to meet the goal of completing the artificial turf field for the 2014 fall season, staff recommended that the design process begin in the summer of 2013. To accomplish this, a budget amendment was required to reflect the receipt of funds from outside sources and the allocation of funds to professional fees within the 2013 playing fields service. Additionally, the 2014 financial plan needs to be amended to reflect the field construction costs of $1.3 million and the associated funding provided by the City of Courtenay and the Comox Valley United Soccer Club.

““It’s good to be working in cooperation with our other local governments, the soccer club and the school district on this project. The artificial turf field is going to benefit many organizations and teams in our community. I’m particularly excited about the benefit to our young players,” added City of Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula.

“This project will mean a lot to many different community groups in the Valley. Comox is happy to have been a part of the process and looks forward to its completion,” stated Town of Comox Mayor Paul Ives.

“The go-ahead of this project is great news for our soccer association,” said Paul West, Comox Valley United Soccer Club president. “Our players are excited and we are hoping this new facility will help encourage participation of new players who can begin to enjoy the benefits of soccer.”

“We are delighted to donate the land for this project and to ultimately see the partners come together in providing such a first- rate facility for the community,” said Tom Weber, School District 71 board chair. In addition this will be a welcome addition for school teams across the district.”

When the CVRD 2013- 2017 financial plan was adopted, it was anticipated that funding would not be required until 2014 and therefore the CVRD’s contribution of $190,000 towards the project was included in 2014.

In order to meet the fall 2014 scheduled completion, the RFP process for consulting services is planned to begin in the late summer 2013. The RFP would include hiring a design consultant who would be responsible for determining the field specifications, tendering the project and overseeing the construction contract administration.

Construction is scheduled to begin in late spring 2014 and be completed by the fall of that year. Existing amenities include outdoor lights, washrooms, as well as use of change rooms and washrooms at the Vanier track.