Fairness for mature neighbourhoods - this is something that I always consider always when making decisions on Council.
Over the last few years, as a City, we have recognized the importance and value of investing in our mature neighbourhoods, and have made the concerted effort to renew the infrastructure in these neighbourhoods. Through programs such as the Neighbourhood Renewal Program and Drainage Renewal Program, coupled with our Flood Mitigation Strategy, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in renewing the critical pieces of infrastructure in mature neighbourhoods throughout the City.
While these efforts are appreciated and certainly warranted, we haven’t been as focused on investing in one of the most critical aspects of any mature neighbourhoods - the people and their facilities. In South Central Edmonton where many neighbourhoods , like Queen Alex and Allendale, are densifying and adding new families this investment is more urgent.
Rollie Miles - Vision, Plan & Future
At today’s Community & Public Services Committee meeting, the new concept plan for Rollie Miles was presented. In this plan, considerations have been made that look to improve the overall sustainability, cohesiveness, integration and access of the park, with the following principles, which were developed by the community, driving the overall plan:
The Park accommodates unique city-wide facilities and events while maintaining its district focus
The Park enhances the year-round active and passive recreational opportunities
The Park has a distinct identity that celebrates community and acts as a hub to bring people together
The Park is designed holistically and in the context of surrounding amenities
The Park design encourages transportation choices that minimize impact to surrounding homes
The Park is environmentally sustainable and maximizes natural elements
While the redesign and redevelopment of Rollie Miles is a step in the right direction of investing in the residents who live in mature neighbourhoods, this investment can be taken a step further to realize the full potential for the site by inviting the community into the full conversation about the best future for the area.
The reality is this - Scona Pool will be closing at some point in the future due to its condition and age, we need to be ready when that happens, which is why I am committed to advocating for the construction of a neighbourhood scale recreational facility including a pool and giving serious thought to inclusion of the replacement of the George S. Hughes arena as well. Of course this conversation will unfold over a number of months, but the city administration will be seeking input from the surrounding neighbourhoods as to what they would like to see in a new recreational facility at Rollie Miles.
The following is the motion committee passed today which prioritizes the community interest in revitalizing Rollie Miles park with a new small scale multipurpose recreation facility as the centre of attention.
Community & Public Services Committee recommend to City Council:
That Administration develop a detailed program for a small recreation centre including a swimming pool in Rollie Miles District Park. The program should include capital costs and a business case.
That Administration continue to consult with members of the community based on the proposed Rollie Miles Athletic Field District Park Master Plan.
Due by: Quarter 4 2017
We are now going to have the right conversation and its about time.