by Lucie Roy with files from Tristan Turner
Public stakeholder meetings promised at the December arena / rec facility open house kicked off Wednesday night and will run on a number of evenings until Feb. 5.
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.
Wednesday night’s session, the first in the series of the Future Arena/Multi-Use Recreation Facility User-Group Stakeholder Group Meetings, took place in Council Chambers with 10 people in attendance.
The first group consisted of sports groups not presently using the arena. The session was hosted by Councillor Rob Ladouceur and facilitated by Dave Ramsey. Sturgeon County Councillor Jerry Kaup also attended the session.
Each member of Council will serve as meeting chair and observer at one of the sessions. They will report back on the discussions and input from residents.
The next session is Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is for groups currently using the arena. Councillor Gord Putnam will host the session.
A stakeholder session for Community Groups takes place Saturday, Jan. 24 from at 10 a.m. until noon 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.
Corporate and Business groups will meet with Deputy Mayor Stephen Dafoe Council Chambers Jan. 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.
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.
The Town announced Wednesday that it will hold “a significant land announcement” Jan. 27 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
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 email@example.com.