City seeks input for facilities plan

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July 14, 2015 8:15 AM

Josef Jacobson Photo The City of Lloydminster held a public consultation meeting at the Centennial Civic Centre Auditorium on July 7. Planning consultant Nick Pryce from WSP Canada took questions and explained the city's Facilities Master Plan.

The City of Lloydminster is looking for community feedback as it prepares its Facilities Master Plan.

On July 7, the city held a public meeting at the Centennial Civic Centre auditorium to give residents a chance to learn about the planning process and ask questions to representatives from the city and its planning consultant, WSP Canada.

“At this stage we’re looking at data and then we’re going to come back in October to come back to the public and the community ... so they can see the results and some of the recommendations and provide further input before we go through to council,” said Nick Pryce, WSP planning lead for Western Canada

Last week, WSP met with over a dozen facility user groups to gauge the current state of Lloydminster’s art and culture, education and emergency services buildings, as well as what the city may need in the future. Discussion at the public meeting covered optimal emergency facility locations, the value of sports and culture facilities and Lloydminster’s role as the largest population centre in the region and the services it provides to those living outside of the city.

The Facilities Master Plan aims determine the city’s facility needs and looks as far as 25 years in to the future, anticipating changing demographics projected population growth. Because of the scope of the planning, acquiring information from residents and facilities users is important. So important, in fact, that WSP will be returning in the fall to complete the “feedback loop” to make sure it is on the right track.

“That’s the opportunity for the community to review that information and to comment on it, so it’s not that we’re getting information, then going away making a plan,” said facilities general manager Pete McHugh, who was present at the presentation.

“We’ve got the information, we bring it back to you and say, ‘This is what we’re hearing, what do you think?’ And then the community gets an opportunity to say, ‘I really like that,’ or, ‘I’m not so sure about that.’ And then once we’ve got that clarity then we can go forward.”

Pryce says there can be a fine line between a “needs assessment” and a “wants assessment,” and speaking to as many residents and groups as possible helps identify and separate the city’s overarching needs from individual wants.

“From my point of view, that’s exactly why we’re doing this,” McHugh said.

“Everybody’s got their own take on what they think the city needs. So we need clarification: What does the city really need?”

The Facilities Master Plan survey can be filled out online until July 31 at lloydminster.ca/FMP. Paper copies are also available at city hall.

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