Master plan for the city’s parks and recreation under construction

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City council passed a motion Monday night during budget deliberations to spend $ 75,000 to hire an outside consultant to develop a parks and recreation master plan.

Funding would come from the Regional Planning Fund. However, not all advisers were convinced as he went 4-2. Councilors Doug Blanc and Dawn Luhning opposed it. Mayor Clive Tolley was absent.

The master plan would consult with the community to determine what the top priorities are and establish a framework for projects over the next 10 years.

Parks and Recreation Director Derek Blais helped set a master plan in Prince Albert and felt Moose Jaw was lagging behind other communities.

“When you look at the 10 largest communities in our province, only two have not adopted a similar type of plan in the past 10 years, with Moose Jaw being one of them. Then seven in ten have passed all of their master plans in the last three years, ”Blais said.

Over the past few years, the Parks and Recreation Department has received many suggestions for outdoor pickleball courts at a new skateboard park on South Hill, the challenge is to make every project a priority.

“If you want your project to be on the priority list, let’s talk about funding. Are you able to get involved in a community fundraising campaign? When it comes to city funding, it’s a top priority, but if you want to come up with a funding option, we’re always open to that sort of thing, ”Blais said.

Com. Crystal Froese was in favor of the master plan. His only fear was that policies would be drawn up and then left on a shelf. However, she believes this plan will be more of an action plan.

“It’s really engaged with the community and citizens on what they want and what they see, and then it’s built into a strategic plan that our staff can implement,” Froese said.

The two councilors who opposed it pointed out that there are community associations that can instead set out priorities.

Blais said community engagement will encompass more stakeholders than just community associations.

“There are a lot of moving parts to this. The survey is a small piece of the cake. Engaging young people is a big part of it, but focus groups are the most important, ”said Blais.

“Community associations will not be able to talk about the problems that minor softball, this minor baseball, this little league, this rugby is having.”

Luhning also compared it to the official community plan and didn’t want to spend any money to hire a consultant to develop a plan that will constantly change.

“We have the plan. It was approved, and then I remember old counsels and colleagues around this table saying, ‘Didn’t we just do this? Why are we changing it again? “So why are we spending this money to create a plan that we’re just not going to buy into anyway,” she said.


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