“The recreation master plan has been tossed around for many years, but recently there’s been more priority put on it,” said Aline Holmen, recreation manager for the Town of Taber at the Taber Recreation Board’s June 5 meeting.
At a recent Taber council meeting, a motion was passed that council not approve the Recreation Master Plan as recommended, but instead that administration undertake a consultation with recreation stakeholders, and that council allocate a maximum of $2,500 towards the consultation process from general operating reserves.
“This is definitely not the right time of year to start this type of project. In the fall what we will be looking at first and foremost is looking at an action plan. What types of steps are we gong to take, what do we want to see in a master plan. Obviously we will be doing this in-house,” said Holmen. “We will be using the $2,500 primarily for advertising for the open houses and feedback sessions. It will be a similar set-up possibly to our downtown business sessions and those types of things. We will open it up to all the user groups in the community and want to try and set it up so they have five or six key questions we are going to ask them.”
Holmen stressed that as many leisure, culture and recreation groups as possible should be approached.
“The one thing we want to be cautious of is we are not approaching user groups too early without knowing what we want to approach them with. It could be misleading to some of those groups with what we are looking for,” said Holmen. “How that is going to exactly flow out and look like, we will probably know in late September or early October.”
Ideas have floated around for years of indoor soccer facilities, a second arena, facility upgrades, more walking trails, finishing off Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park with a fourth diamond, but for the town to effectively plan and council to focus on budgets, Holmen added there has to be feedback from the community as to what they think the community should look like in the future.
“If you just go year by year for feedback, it make sit very difficult to plan,” said Holmen. “The goal is to get that feedback, look ahead for the community. Try and get that vision for the future and try and match it with what council decided as their vision and goals with the community and try and make it match.”