Have You Had Your Say
…on what public facilities you want in Chestermere?
The Town is moving into new territory – planning for future public facilities and amenities. Many may not know that this is a new activity, as a lot of people assume that the Rec Centre is owned and operated by the Town. However, this isn’t the case. The Rec Centre was built before the Town was even incorporated, on what was then Municipal District of Rocky View (now Rocky View County) land. The town has, in the ensuing years, developed around the Rec Centre, leaving it uniquely situated on an ‘island’ of Rocky View County land, in the heart of Chestermere. It is operated by the Chestermere Regional Community Association. Other recreational facilities in the town are operated by non-profit or for-profit organizations.
The Town is at a point where we need to have a long-term plan for the development of public facilities and amenities – so that we know what is needed in 5, 10, 15, 20 years… until the community is fully developed. In order to start preparing for this future, we need to know what Chestermere and area residents want and would use. That is why it is so critical that there is a really good response rate to the 2012 Town Survey. What survey respondents had to say in 2012 is going to be felt well into the future, as planning is beginning now for Chestermere’s Facilities and Amenities Strategic Plan.
The Town has hired Bill Fraser, Recreation Consultant, to work with the Town’s planning staff to create this plan. “After we’ve heard from citizens, and the report is sent back to Council indicating what people want and what they feel they need, talks will begin re how, when, what and where these facilities might be provided. We know we can’t provide everyone with everything they want, but through careful planning, it is believed we can develop facilities …through a planned and organized delivery system” said Mr. Fraser.
The Survey asks residents about a wide array of public facilities and amenities. Now is the time for residents to have their say on everything from pathways and parks to huge recreational facilities. According to the Town’s consultant, “We need solid proof of a need for each facility we build and we have to have a solid plan for the sustainability of each facility”. The Town is encouraging residents to help create a solid foundation for the planning that is about to take place, by having your say.
A number of recognizable residents were asked to ‘kick-start’ the process of residents thinking about and getting excited about Chestermere’s future. They participated in a video called “That’s My Say”, that can be found on the Town’s survey page, www.chestermere.ca/Survey2012. The question they were asked was what public amenities they would like to see in Chestermere and why.
A number of residents in the video indicated a need for more sports facilities. What Alex Halat and John Cornegge will be telling the Town, through the survey, is that they want to see a field house – a facility that gives those involved in outdoor sports, like soccer, the ability to practice their sport year-round, without having to drive into Calgary. Mel Porter and Andrew Marriott will be saying that a pool would be a fantastic addition to our town. Brian Westbury and Darrell Hargrove would like to see a multiplex recreation facility – “a place to hold events, a place to play sports and get training.”
Young adults, An Vo, Alicea Sproule, Satinder Parmar, and Sarah Eccelston indicated they wanted, in the words of Alicea Sproule, “more places for people to go and actually be a community”. Sarah Eccleston and Satinder Parmar identified a need for places particularly for youth of the community to be able to get together, like a youth centre or a gym.
There was strong support for the arts from Bill Peddlesden, Evan DeWald, and Leela Aheer. Leela Aheer said “I would love to see facilities built to promote the arts…by promoting local arts you’re bringing the community together”. Evan DeWald and Bill Peddlesden also supported this view. According to Bill Peddlesden, “Public art is important to make Chestermere a vibrant and enjoyable town. I think it would be great to see live musicians or have the school put on plays, the Calgary Philharmonic coming out here. I think it would make Chestermere a wonderful place.”
The wonderful outdoor setting of Chestermere was not overlooked by residents. Jennifer Peddlesden stated that there needs to be “an emphasis on walking paths all through the town” and Katie Schwing would like the town to be a more bikeable community. Malkeet Aheer would like amenities developed that would allow all residents to be able to enjoy and have access to the lake.
Add your voices to theirs. Tell the Town what your dreams are for the Town’s future while there is still the opportunity. The Town Survey 2012 closes on Sunday.
It can be found on the Town’s website www.chestermere.ca/Survey2012. For those preferring paper, the survey is available at Town Hall and the Whitecappers.