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Thursday , 24 June 2021

New recreation park outside of Bonnyville to be fleshed out with feasibility study

The M.D. is taking baby steps on their proposed vision of a recreation park outside of Bonnyville.

This week, M.D. park and recreation director, Chris McCord, is meeting with RC Strategies to continue the work proposed in the municipality’s recreation needs assessment from last summer.

M.D. council decided last Wednesday to approve a $25,000 feasibility study at their last meeting.

“It [feasibility study] will provide information to council on if this is something that the M.D. is looking for from residents,” said Chris McCord.

“Is there a need for it based on feedback, from user groups, and looking at costs for building it, giving them options, as well as management and maintenance options as well. From there, they’ll make the decision, is this something we want to get behind?”

The assessment included engagement with residents on what could be included on an eventual recreation park. The mock-up included six ball diamonds, four soccer/rectangular fields, an outdoor rink, pickleball courts, play area, and serviced camping.

Now, the M.D’s parks and recreation department will re-assess and look to “drill down” more details.

“Taking the rec needs assessment and….drilling down to see how can we hit the next level and see if the need is really there, do we want to get behind this project for council? And if so, how are we going to go forward with fundraising for it, and then looking after it after its built, because obviously, that’s a big consideration also,” said McCord.

McCord had said in November that the feasibility study would be the next step in the development of any rec park plan.

“We’re still feeling out the public on this one,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

“We want to find out from the user groups what they’re interested in and where they want to use it. This is just part of getting out and engaging with the public, and find out if it is a route we want to go,” he said.

McCord said it is likely there will be another public open house during the study process.

“It’s very early stages. Like I said I need to have that first discussion with RC Strategies, from there we’ll get a timeline. I think we’re looking at having that final report to council kind of end of April, early May. We’re looking at four months roughly,” said McCord.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.