Alternative soapbox derby sites explored

The district will be exploring alternative sites for the Soapbox Derby races.

It currently takes place on Stave Lake Street above 11 Avenue, but organizers predict the races cannot continue there after the commercial development across from Windebank elementary school is filled up and if road conditions don’t improve.

“I know staff are working with the Soapbox Derby Association (SDA) … but realistically, I think if we don’t help them do something, it will die,” said Coun. Paul Horn, a former association volunteer.

Horn also noted the costs of renting hay bales and the manpower to drop them off “is huge” and a burden for the small group.

He is asking for information on when Stave Lake Street is scheduled for improvement and wants staff to research other possible event sites from 2012 and beyond.

Horn suggested the Leisure Centre area be explored, which concerned other politicians.

“I have concerns about the Leisure Centre because of the capacity of parking,” said Mayor James Atebe, noting the lot is already packed when there are tournaments happening.

However, he agreed an improved site is necessary.

“It’s a safety issue. I want us to look at this as necessary infrastructure for the kids.”

Sites discussed when the district met with SDA’s Remco Bergman included Cedar Street (north of Dewdney Trunk Road), First Avenue, Grand Street, Hurd Street, Mary Street, McRae Avenue and Mission Raceway Park.

The report could take at least a month to produce as it will require a lot of staff time, according chief administrative officer Glen Robertson.