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Draft recreation master plan presented to MD council

MD of Bonnyville Council Briefs

BONNYVILLE – The MD of Bonnyville has a better understanding of what recreation looks like in the municipality, and how it can be improved.

During a committee meeting on Feb. 19, council got an overview of the proposed recreation master plan from RC Strategies + PERC, the Edmonton-based company hired to put the document together.

The plan includes information from research previously done by the municipality, along with feedback collected from stakeholders and residents by RC Strategies + PERC.

Outlined in the document are recreation-based services that are currently being administered by the MD, and the different ways they’re being provided.

“One is direct delivery. That’s things that you’re delivering directly using your staff and operating facilities. Kinosoo Ridge would be a prime example of that,” Stephen Slawuta, partner with RC Strategies + PERC, noted. “A lot of what you do is indirect delivery, where you’re providing funding or in-kind resources to other organizations, whether it’s under other municipalities or community groups in the area that essentially deliver recreation on behalf of the MD.”

The plan lists 12 strategies that could improve recreation in the region, such as sustaining current funding programs and developing more defined evaluation protocols, enhancing the promotion and awareness of recreation programs and classes in rural areas, playing a leadership role in the development of a low or no cost regional recreation pass for residents facing financial issues, and continuing to promote safe, sustainable, and responsible use of parks, campgrounds, and natural areas.

Council will take another look at the plan once feedback is gathered from residents in the coming months.

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MD turns down bingo funding request

Council voted against providing funding to the Bonnyville Bingo Association.

The association had previously requested $17,000 to help cover expenses incurred during renovations to their new building.

“We’ve really batted this one back and forth a few times,” explained Caroline Palmer, general manager of planning and community services for the MD.

She added, “At arm’s length, they’re representing non-profit organizations. In order for them to move forward to provide the platform for bingos that do give the opportunity for these community groups to make money, it fits and kind of doesn’t for the (community action grant),” she continued.

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Looking for more information

The MD has some questions they’d like answered before taking responsibility for the African Lake Trail.

Palmer explained the municipality was approached by Alberta Environment and Parks to take over the African Lake Trail, which is located by the Cold Lake Museum, earlier this year.

“It had been leased by a not-for-profit society as a walking trail and apparently they’re non-existent now. We mentioned in our recreation pamphlets that this is a recreation walking trail.”

Due to its proximity to the City of Cold Lake, Palmer is reaching out to the municipality for more information before coming up with recommendations for council to consider.

Drainage and flooding plan in the works

In order to address flooding and drainage issues across the MD, councillors will be providing a list of roads that have proven to be problematic in their wards.

CAO Luc Mercier said they’re in the process of determining which areas need to be addressed.

“We’re trying to focus on what we need to work on first, and what we as a municipality aren’t going to work on because there are some roads that are just natural drainages… that are refilling after 40 or 50 years of lack of rain. We’re trying to get that direction so we know where we’re going,” he detailed.

Once administration receives feedback from council, an updated drainage and flooding document will be presented before moving ahead with the plan.

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle

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