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Council explores cable water park for Abbotsford

Water skiers and wakeboarders may soon be able to test their skills without the help of a boat. The city is contemplating a proposal to build a cable water park system similar to the one pictured above. - Submmited photo
Water skiers and wakeboarders may soon be able to test their skills without the help of a boat. The city is contemplating a proposal to build a cable water park system similar to the one pictured above.
— image credit: Submmited photo

A proposed cable water ski and wakeboard park could soon become a reality in Abbotsford.

Council has approved a suggestion by staff to make a request for proposals (RFP) on the project, which would be located at Albert Dyck Park.

There are at least three groups which have expressed interest in building and running the facility that would allow ski enthusiasts to participate in the sport without needing a boat.

The cable system is motorized and can pull people along the water on a designated route. It is reportedly able to serve more people, at a lesser cost, than conventional water skiing.

When the idea came before council in December 2011, the Fraser Valley Water Ski Club expressed concerns that the automated ski park would limit its own activities.

However, one of the proposed builders, Stu McKeown, has been working with the group to see if they could coexist.

On Monday, Dave Miller, representing the water ski club told council the association is withdrawing its objections, adding the club is now in favour of the cable park.

“That is the club’s perspective on it and as long as we can make it work together, we’re all for it,” he said.

McKeown said both parties can share the lake, based on a scheduling system.

“There is also the ability to safely run a portion of the cable system alongside the boats during overlapping hours,” he said.

When the boats are not in use, McKeown said parts of the lake could be used for paddle boarding, swimming and other non-motorized water sports.

Coun. Dave Loewen said he was encouraged by the cooperation shown by the two groups.

The project will not cost the city anything as privates companies are bidding on the right to construct and run the cable park.

McKeown told council the equipment would cost approximately $125,000 to purchase and install.

Council will address the issue again once the RFPs have been received.

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