City unveils the latest in community services master plan

By Shane O'Neill
February 16, 2017 - 3:00pm
Jody Boulet, community services director, addresses the media from city hall on Thursday.
Jody Boulet, community services director, addresses the media from city hall on Thursday. Shane O'Neill/paNOW Staff

Prince Albert has taken the next step in its community services master plan.

On Thursday morning, the city held a press conference to update the public on the progress of the plan and to introduce the consulting firm tasked with implementing the community’s vision.

RC Strategies + PERC, a firm based in Sherwood Park, Alta., won the city’s bid using input from the master plan surveys, neighbourhood meetings and direct engagement with stakeholders. Jody Boulet, director of community services, said it was the firm’s focus on community building and experience on 1,500 similar projects which sealed the deal.

“They have extensive experience in western Canada dealing with these specific type plans, they’re built, really, around the priorities of recreation, parks, art and culture,” he said after the conference. Boulet explained the city also looked to the cities of Saskatoon and Martensville, to provide references on their experiences with the firm. 

As for the cost of this project, Boulet confirmed the budget for the development of the community services master plan, as set out in November’s budget meetings, is $50,000. A budget which will take the project through the next community consultation phase, into the fall of 2017.

Robert Parks, partner with RC Strategies + PERC, said their firm puts an emphasis helping communities make the most of natural space.

“We would say that all of these things that make up community services really make up the heart of the community and, really, that’s what people want when they’re in a city like this,” Parks explained.

Mayor Greg Dionne stressed the importance of residents making their voices heard on the plan through the master plan survey.

“If you think we need a new pool, or if we need a new rink or a new splash park, we need to hear from you,” he said. “This is your opportunity to tell city hall what you need in facilities.”

 So far, the city has received 257 responses to the survey, almost two-thirds of the responses they received in 2007.

The community services master plan is vision for the city’s out door spaces, including parks, recreation facilities and even community art pieces.

 

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