After much debate and a lengthy discussion, City council approved a location for a skateboard park as well as a location for a spray park in Red Deer.
Both projects are geared at being Centennial projects and the idea behind both is to give families something to do for low or no cost in the City. Both of these parks would be free access.
Randy Heaps, chief operating officer and senior landscape architect for ISL, presented a report including a detailed matrix about the best location for both projects.
“We narrowed the list to 13 sites and developed a comprehensive list of criteria including size, access, environmental conditions, amenities, safety, land use and general location,” said Heaps.
The spray park had five potential sites that were then taken to the public for feedback, suggestions, as well as a generic poll of what the public thought would be best. “Ultimately the Rotary Recreation site ranked the highest and provides a good fit with the long term plan for this area.”
There was no debate about whether the Rotary Recreation Park would be best for the spray park, but some concerns were raised about parking in the area.
“Parking is a great concern. The parkade is in close proximity but you get families with small children and umbrellas and diaper bags and it’s a fight to get as close as possible,” said Councillor Tara Veer.
Veer said there is no question that this is the right location for this amenity but that parking options need to be evaluated.
Whether it’s a matter of reallocating some City parking or looking at parking near the Golden Circle, it is something council needs to be committed to looking at, said Veer.
The resolution was changed to read that the spray park would go ahead at that site but that parking would be a consideration in the final design reports.
The skateboard park was the more contentious of the two amenities, though there was still no question that the project needs to go ahead to provide the City with its second park of this type.
Heaps said there were four key sites for the skateboard park but that the west side of the Glendale school and the G.H. Dawe Centre were the top two suitable locations.
Councillor Chris Stephan opposed the recommendation from the consultants that the skateboard park go at the Glendale site.
“The Dawe is a community centre which is open a lot more hours but also close to other facilities if someone needs help,” said Stephan.
Veer said either location for the skateboard park would be good and that there are pros and cons to any location that could have been chosen.
“In looking at the map Dawe is more central but there aren’t many amenities serving our northern most communities,” said Veer.
Councillor Frank Wong said one concern about the Glendale location is the accessibility by vehicles because of the restricted turning ability into the area.
Stephan put forward a resolution that the skateboard park be located at Dawe but the motion failed. Council then voted in favour of having the skateboard park at Glendale.
“Glendale is in a better location to serve the north population in the long term, but there certainly are arguments for both sides,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling.