Community group meetings for arena / rec facility to start next week

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by Tristan Turner

Public stakeholder meetings promised at the December arena / rec facility open house will take place Jan. 21 to Feb. 5. Town Administration announced the dates for six public stakeholder meetings during the Jan. 13 council meeting.

The sessions are designed to provide specific interest groups and the general public an opportunity to provide their hopes for the new facility prior to the initial development stage. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was sent out to secure a facilitator and Administration said a contract would be signed Jan. 14 with the selected company.

Each stakeholder group has been assigned a councillor to serve as meeting chair and observer. They will report back on the discussions and input from residents.

The Community Groups takes place Jan. 24 from at 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, Jan. 24 in Council Chambers and will be hosted by Councillor Barry Turner.

All other dates take place in Council Chambers between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The Sports and Recreation groups, consisting of groups not currently using the arena will take place Jan. 21 and will be hosted by Councillor Rob Ladouceur.

Arena and Curling groups will meet with Councillor Gordon Putnam at Jan. 22.

Corporate and Business groups will meet with Deputy Mayor Stephen Dafoe at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM in council chambers January 26.

Public and Private Institutions will meet with Councillor Nicole Boutestein Jan. 29.

The General Public group will meet with Councillor Brennan Fitzgerald Feb. 5.

No word on location

During the December open house, Mayor Lisa Holmes said it had taken seven months to get to the current point in the project. “We have taken 9 1/2 of 10 steps. We are almost there,” Holmes said at the time.

Although the open house revealed that the Town has signed a conditional agreement to purchase a 60+ acre site, no announcement has yet been made on where the location is. Those conditions have to be lifted by the end of January.

Council allocated $13.75 million for the facility in the 2015 budget, a starting point figure. Total costs will depend on the outcome of the upcoming stakeholder meetings, the type of facility, and whether any partnerships can help offset the costs.

The upcoming stakeholder sessions are the first round of meetings the town will be hosting.

Those interested in taking part in one of the upcoming sessions can email allcouncil@morinville.ca.

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