Written by Noel Edey Monday, Nov 16 2020, 9:51 AM
In advance of the budget deliberations, Councillor Tara McFadden asked her fellow councillors to remember the needs of residents recreating in open spaces and parks.
McFadden chairs the town’s parks and recreation committee and says they have heard from user groups anxious to move forward with some of the town’s recreational plans, including existing open spaces and the future Horse Creek multi-use park.
“I think it has been one of those things we’ve had to put to the side during this last year, but I want to let council know there’s pent-up pressure from a lot of those user groups that want to see more parks, more recreation, and be able to access that,” she said at council last week.
“I want to highlight that as we head into budget, that as much as we have been focusing on transportation and making it easier to get around, there is a lot of demand for how we recreate and enjoy outdoor spaces.”
Completion of master plans for the Ranche and Mitford parks were set aside this year due to the budget pressures of COVID-19.
They are among the items included in the draft budget presented to town council on Oct. 26.
She hopes the master plans will be completed in 2021 and be discussed during council’s strategic planning sessions over the coming year.
Currently, the terms of six members of the inaugural parks and recreation board are coming to an end. Twenty people have made application for the six positions.
“It’s great to have that much public engagement and interest in contributing to our parks and recreation,” says McFadden.
At noon today (Nov. 16), town council has begun its deliberations over a draft three-year budget prepared by town administration. It’s a process that may continue into Wednesday.
They will be reviewing and debating the contents of the proposed three-year budget department-by-department.
As it sits, the draft budget presented projects property taxes will rise by 1.27 per cent in 2021, 4.29 per cent in 2022, and 5.71 per cent in 2023.
The budget includes $49.4 million in capital projects for road improvements, development of the transit hub with a small innovation centre, and the long-awaited protective services building.
It also includes about $575,000 in open spaces planning, pathway upgrades, and playground lifecycle projects.