Resident questions council about recreation

A Rimbey resident who had several questions regarding the direction recreation seems to be heading in town was appeased after

A Rimbey resident who had several questions regarding the direction recreation seems to be heading in town was appeased after approaching council.

Eileen Poulson attended the July 16 council meeting and also sent a letter to council questioning the need for a recreation board and the purpose of the recreation director.

“Why are we paying for a survey when we have a rec director and a rec board?” she asked.

Poulson also wanted to know why a decision regarding playground equipment had not been made until June.

She said she has been talking to other residents and they all have questions about council’s decisions regarding recreation.

“Mine is just a coffee shop survey,” she said. “But we are all wondering. In talking to other people, we feel the rec board doesn’t have any authority.”

Rimbey CAO Tony Goode explained Rimbey’s recreation board acts as an advisory board. “They have no money and no staff. All they can do is make recommendations.”

Coun. Gayle Rondeel, who sits on the recreation board along with Coun. Paul Payson, said the board is valuable.

“It’s amazing what a real good progressive group it is. There is lot of experience there. They all take it really seriously and do what they can. It’s amazing in a town the size of Rimbey what talent there is out there that people have to offer.”

Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson explained the survey, which is being competed by RC Strategies, is important because council wants to determine what is the most effective use of recreation dollars. The survey, part of a $40,000 recreation parks and trails master plan, has been funded through a provincial grant.

Ibbotson said the survey will be most helpful. “We are trying to find out what people want and put the money where the people want it to go.”

He explained that the recreation director is busy with regular duties and has neither the time nor expertise to complete such a survey.

Rondeel said about 250 questionnaires have been returned and the survey is expected to be completed in November.

Poulson also wanted to know why the new playground equipment has not been installed.

“Why wasn’t it ordered earlier so it could be used by the kids?” It just doesn’t seem to be real efficient. The timing doesn’t seem right to me.”

But Goode explained the ordering process is long and involved.

“It’s not just like going out and buying a new grader,” he said.

Rondeel said the playground equipment is expected to be installed in late July or early August.