by Colin Smith
Morinville is looking at the idea of sharing the use of recreation facilities with St. Albert.
At its September 14 meeting Town Council approved the Town of Morinville-City of St. Albert Recreation Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework in a unanimous vote.
The framework sets out terms for the communities to connect with one another and share information on recreation matters and seek partnership opportunities when it makes sense to do so.
The aim is to enhance collaboration, explore more cost-effective service delivery and partnership options in the future and enhance the quality of recreation services available in the region, including maximizing facility usage.
“We are looking to basically collaborate and cooperate on sharing our plans for the future,” said Iain Bushell, general manager of infrastructure and community services.
“The north end of St. Albert is growing like crazy and that’s where the city has plans for new recreation amenities,” he told the council. “We wanted to look at where those opportunities could align with ours, so we could perhaps step them appropriately and share in some of the recreation opportunities that exist.
Bushell pointed out that this is simply a framework and any discussions about dollars and cost-sharing and sharing passes are a long way away.
The framework is modelled after one developed by Edmonton and St. Albert.
“It’s similar to other collaborative projects in the region,” Bushell said.
With the framework approved by both Morinville and St. Albert councils, staff from both municipalities will confirm a work plan and terms of reference to achieve the objectives identified in the framework.
Preliminary work has begun on items such as community amenities site planning, ice surface for St. Albert user groups, Morinville Leisure Centre lands plan, facility and program cross-marketing and program synergies.
Development of the framework began following a between the chief administrative officers of Morinville and St. Albert and has continued with meetings between Bushell and community services manager Sharleen Edwards and St. Albert colleagues in recent months.