News Local

PRRA to oversee Delta operation

Life's a beach

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Photo courtesy Delta Beach Association.

Photo courtesy Delta Beach Association.

With the beach season inching closer each passing minute, the city and the RM have been working frantically to have the region's crown jewel operational for the 2018 year.

As a first step in the reintroduction of the Delta Beach Campground, which hasn't seen the light of day since the region was devastated by the 2011 floods, the RM and the city of Portage announced that the Portage Regional Recreation Authority (PRRA) will assume management of the campground.

"I think it's a great opportunity. We strive ourselves with being able to manage these types of recreation facilities. It's a little different then the type of facilities that we currently look at but in the same sense there are a lot of similarities," says David Sattler, PRRA general manager. "I would love to say that it will go over completely smooth but we do understand that this is the first year that we are going to be operating. The RM is still planning on doing more work and upgrades so those are some things we are taking into consideration as we determine pricing."

Prior to the 2011 floods the campground was home to 25 camp sites but the revamped facility boasts almost double. The new campground at Delta includes 49 campsites, 31 with electric and water capabilities along with 18 unserviced stations, along with two wheelchair accessible washroom facilities with coin operated showers and picnic and playground areas.

The cost of the renovation project is approximately $1.5 million, nearly half of which was covered by the province via Disaster Financial Assistance ($700,000). Manitoba Hydro chipped in $700K through the Community Development Fund while an additional $100K was obtained from other grant sources.

"We’re ready to have the campground full again, and we hear a lot from people who want to get back to it this summer," says Portage RM Reeve, Kam Blight. "We think it’s a perfect fit, it has been part of the regional plan since the PRRA was established. They operate at an exceptional level and are a very efficient and very well run organization."

Although details on the agreement are still being finalized, all bookings will be done through the PRRA and Stride Place with prices expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The PRRA oversees the operation of several facilities within city limits, including Stride Place and Republic Park, but the Delta Campground will be the first PRRA-managed site located in the rural municipality.

"There will be a few things we have to work on and look at as we have never managed a campground before but I'm sure it'll be an exciting and rewarding experience for everyone," adds Sattler. "When you look at the athletic field complex for example, we have about 29 fields over there that we schedule pretty much for the same time as the camping season, so different requirements but the concepts are kind of the same."

The parties are currently reviewing staffing and security models used at similar facilities in other municipalities but the expectation is that the PRRA will create a contract position to live on-site in order to best meet the needs of those using the amenities.

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