Councillors support park rebuild for 2017
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 08:23 am
A small park tucked away in downtown Okotoks may get the love and attention it needs, but work could be a few years away.
Okotoks council is putting Triangle Park on its to-do list with plans to include it in the Town’s downtown revitalization that proposes the reconstruction of North Railway Street from the Olde Towne Plaza east to the intersection of Lineham Avenue, scheduled to commence in 2017. The park is on North Railway Street east of the Olde Towne Okotoks Plaza.
Council made the decision at its March 24 meeting in response to a request from a group of parents wanting to see the park revitalized.
Municipal manager Rick Quail said although it would not be a priority for this year, discussion should begin soon with plans to start designing the park in 2015. He suggested engaging residents and merchants in a stakeholder discussion about the park sometime this year.
Coun. Matt Rockley supported the recommendation, saying the park should be taken into consideration as part of the downtown revitalization plan.
“I think of what happened with the old town plaza and how that worked with reconfiguring the road there, creating public space, moving property lines and roadway locations and making the best possible configuration as part of a larger redevelopment project,” he said.
“I see the same types of synergy happening at this location where the park is. The motion does lay out a good path for the potential for that park in that area.”
A group of parents living in the area requested the Town’s support to rebuild the park during council’s March 10 meeting with hopes to increase the safety of the park by replacing the outdated equipment and establishing a playground zone and no idling zone on North Railway Street.
The parents told council they already began the process of applying for funds to cover the cost of new equipment for the park they bring their children to regularly and hope the Town will further support their initiative by implementing a playground zone and no idling zone adjacent to the park.
The Town of Okotoks’ long-range capital project for downtown revitalization suggests reconstructing North Railway Street with the potential for redesigning traffic, replacing utilities and constructing roadways.
Coun. Tanya Thorn said although she supports rebuilding Triangle Park, she feels it shouldn’t be on the Town’s list of priorities this year.
“We have 10 priorities ahead of this,” she said. “I’m concerned about deploying administration from what we delegated as our priorities this year. I’m not sure the timing of this is inline with what we’ve already deemed as priorities.”
With a community group taking on the initiative to improve the park, Coun. Carrie Fischer said council needs to pay attention.
“I’m encouraged by the initiative that a citizen group is taking this on and I’m excited to see where it goes,” she said, adding she understands it’s not one of the town’s top priorities this year. “I’m hoping the stakeholder discussion isn’t to onerous for administration and hopeful that it can happen quickly and easily.”
Council briefly discussed the potential to amend the Town’s traffic bylaw to establishing no idling zones at various places throughout the community including parks, plazas, public spaces and school zones, and agreed it’s a discussion that needs to take place due to citizen complaints about vehicles running excessively.