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Wednesday , 21 October 2020

M.D. rec park design taking next steps

The Municipal District of Bonnyville’s development of a recreational park may soon take form as the M.D. looks outwards for additional support and explores the next steps of the project.

After discussing how to move forward with their plans for park, M.D. councillors are reaching out to the Town of Bonnyville to help firm up some of its finer details.

“Because the location we have in mind for the park sits within the town, it made sense for us to include town council in the process,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

The spot the M.D. has it’s eye on now is on the west end of town beside Jessie Lake, and although the town has vocally been in support of the M.D.’s preference for the site, lease agreements have yet to be signed by either party.

In addition to the pre-existing baseball fields built on the site, the M.D. plans to include amenities such as four pickleball courts, two soccer fields, a playground, a paved parking area, an amphitheatre, a campground, and a storm water lake.

The extensive investment has been projected to cost $24 million combined in multiple phases, but despite the high price point the majority of residents have been in support of the project, which many are hoping will promote old and emerging activities that will entice visitors to the area.

Within M.D council there have been a range of responses towards the current choice of location, with many councillors voicing their support while also raising concerns.

“I think it looks really nice,” noted councillor Darcy Skarsen. “It would complement the rodeo grounds quite nicely. I think it’s a good starting point to have discussions with the town to see what their thoughts are.”

However councillor Dana Swigart has voiced his concern that a proposed storm water lake could have unforeseen effects on the area’s ecology.

“The storm water lake does look really nice, but is it possible it’s not in the best location?”

The M.D. had hopes to use the artificial lake for irrigation purposes, but have submitted an inquiry to Alberta Environments that will need to be approved before any decisive action is taken.

As of now the M.D. is awaiting a decision from the town on what their involvement with the project will look like before any further progress is made.

About Chris Lapointe

Chris is a two-time Vancouver Film School graduate, where he originally studied screenwriting and video games. Returning home to the lakeland post-graduation, he was determined to put what he learned to use. He brings with him a laid-back attitude and a love for pop culture that he hopes can be injected into Lakeland Connect's publications.