Recreation in Rimbey could take on a different face in a few months, as town council has hired a consulting firm to look at the recreational needs and wants of the community.
Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson said council has hired RC Strategies from Edmonton to formulate a recreation master plan.
Ibbotson believes the $40,000 cost associated with hiring the consulting firm will be money well spent.
“They are objective and they have experience at doing such a study. We don’t have anyone in-house who knows how to do this,” he added. “Plus it’s good planning and much better than putting your dollars into what isn’t needed.”
Ibbotson said such a master plan will allow the public to provide information that can be used to develop the kind of recreational programs and services that will best suit the needs of the community at large.
He noted community input is vital. He recalled a situation where the rec board was giving consideration to putting the skateboard park in the Kinsmen Park, but the idea was quickly squashed when neighboring residents signed a petition in opposition.
Coun. Gayle Rondeel agreed.
“What we want to do is get input from as many people as possible as to what direction they would like to us take with recreation.”
Rondeel said the demographics of the town — population, lifestyle and age of residents — all need to be taken into consideration when developing a master plan.
Recreation director Rick Kreklewich said the plan will also include a needs assessment and current recreational programs and facilities will be evaluated.
“It will be a good thing to allow us to plan for our future and provide us with direction,” he said.
Kreklewich said a meeting will be held May 31 with RC Strategies, council and administration to discuss the strategies and plans to be used to create the master plan.
By Treena Mielke