By Greg Price
The process of the Taber Recreation Master Plan continues to move forward as the Taber Recreation Board was updated of its progress at its February meeting.
“It was a very positive experience. This was a completely different meeting with all the different user groups together,” said Danielle Hansen, one of several recreation board members who sat in on the recreation master plan workshop to observe at the Taber Auditorium in late January. “They all worked well together for one common goal. When everyone introduced themselves and what sport they were with, all of them overlapped into other sports, so they really worked well together. You didn’t just have one group being gung ho pushing for one thing.”
There were 18 different interest groups and four recreation board members who attended the workshop on Jan. 28 as the town looks to embark on its first recreation master plan since 1985.
“It was very well balanced and there was a lot of positive comments about our staffing and facilities,” said Aline Holmen, recreation manager for the Town of Taber. “We had feedback in areas to improve and what facilities we need. We had a very good discussion with that group and we will be compiling all the information and making sure everyone gets a copy of that.”
The next step is the household survey in which Holmen confirmed it was 75 per cent compiled as of the Feb. 5 recreation board meeting.
“We will have it out and give people a few weeks to respond. We will have it on our Web site and also at our rec facilities and we’ve approached the M.D. to put it on their Web site as well. We want to get as much feedback from the community as we can,” said Holmen. “There is definitely people out there that have things to say that were not able to attend the workshop.”
While looking to have the mail out be focused primarily on Town of Taber residents, Holmen added there are hopes M.D. residents get involved through the Web site and getting the survey at the many recreation facilities which M.D residents are users of.
“I kind of think the turnaround time (to reply to the surveys) shouldn’t be more than a couple of weeks. You give too much time and they tend to get forgotten. If you put a short time frame on it, people are more apt to say ‘OK I got to get this done’ as opposed to pushing it off to the next week,” said Merrill Harris, Taber Recreation Board member and councillor for the M.D. of Taber who went to the recreation master plan workshop.
Holmen revealed to the recreation board what the four top suggestions were from the recreation master plan workshop with the top being a multi-use facility at 21 votes, followed by second ice surface/improved small ice, completing the walking trail to the M.D. of Taber Park and completing the fourth diamond and added improvements at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park.
Compilation of all the data from the recreation master plan workshop, the recreation user group survey, and household survey is expected to be completed by late March or early April.