Local residents could benefit from recreation facilities plan

Local residents could benefit from a multi-stakeholder plan for establishing extensive recreation and park infrastructure

Local residents could benefit from a multi-stakeholder plan for establishing extensive recreation and park infrastructure across Lacombe County, a consultant reported at council’s meeting last Thursday.

Council heard about the ‘Parks & Recreation Facility Development Strategy — Envision a New Future’ from consultant Gary Debney of Calgary-based CDC Consultants.

According to Debney, a plan to see large-scale recreation and parks development isn’t just something that would benefit residents of Lacombe County.

He pointed out that people from nearby centres including Sylvan Lake and Red Deer would benefit as well.

Building these kinds of partnerships across municipalities is something Debney has been involved with for some time.

“What level of service should we be providing to our constituents? We don’t have to have a splash park or a leisure pool in every community because they can serve the broader territory.”

Meanwhile, resources for the development and operation of recreation facilities are tight these days, he said, which means it’s vital to increase levels of coordination and partnerships across municipalities to make sure funds are used most efficiently.

The first step is to get the stakeholders and partners together and agree on what the future could look like in terms of what’s needed, and then spend the time ‘framing’ the projects, he said.

“You are looking at this in the big picture, and who your partners would be. Sylvan Lake is not within the county, but they’ve done a lot of planning and they serve part of your area. What’s interesting to me is that if there is an appetite from the other local councils and partners’ perspectives, then these people will come together to prevent duplication and overlap. It’s a pretty significant opportunity,” he said.

“From a recreation perspective, we really see the opportunities that come from working together.”

CDC Consultants recommended Lacombe County create a policy framework to guide decision-making. This would include an information-gathering mechanism from collecting data from stakeholders to preparing a discussion document and hosting a stakeholders’ forum.

Existing plans, policies, inventories, usership and operations would also be up for discussion.

“Having an integrated plan makes a whole lot of sense because then everybody is working from the same starting point,” he said. “And we’re not trying to figure out what everyone else is doing; we understand what everyone else is doing.”

Ultimately, council opted to give the green light to the development of a strategic plan at the cost of $15,000 to $20,000 which would take one to three months to complete.

“It’s to set out a plan and get a course of action in place,” said Reeve Ken Wigmore. “Hopefully, we can get (extensive) partnership on this.”

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Sylvan Lake looks to add an adopt-a-road program

A policy for the newly proposed program will come forward to council at a later date

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Team Alberta adds nine medals on day two of competition at Canada Winter Games

Team Alberta had a solid day at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

PHOTOS: Canada Games action from the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Wheelchair basketball, short-track speedskating draw large crowds

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

Most Read