City of Wetaskiwin Council was presented with the state of the Wetaskiwin Archives report at their regular Nov. 22, 2021 meeting. This report outlined three possible models moving forward for council’s consideration.
Following the presentation and significant dialogue between members of council on the options, council directed administration to proceed with an analysis to explore the impacts to both the city and the community of all options presented.
The report shared feedback and survey data collected from heritage-minded agencies and citizens and was determined by MNP and heritage professionals who have been involved in the assessment of the Archives since its temporary closure in November 2020.
“Making sure that we are serving the community to the best of our ability is paramount,” says Mayor Tyler Gandam.
“As we review the levels of service for Wetaskiwin, it’s important that we get all the information to make informed decisions. The further review of the Archives is part of that.”
The options outlined in the review included:
1. Enhanced status quo model
This model proposes to keep the Archives as a stand-alone department, staffed by one archivist.
It would be open to the public three days a week with minimum outreach services and no ability to address ongoing needs, mainly the digitization of records. The estimated operating cost of this model not including capital costs would be between $100,000 to $150,000 annually.
2. Fully integrated information management model
This model proposes housing the Archives with the records management and information technology departments. It would be staffed by one senior manager, one archivist, and one to three archive assistants.
Under this model the Archives would be open to the public five days a week with enhanced outreach service and the ability to address ongoing needs. The estimated operating cost of this model not including capital costs would be between $200,000 and $400,000 annually.
3. Municipal-focus model
This model proposes housing Archives under the records management function as a stand-alone Archives and would be staffed by one archivist. It would mostly serve city employees and would only respond to public reference requests of municipal archives per the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act.
The estimated operating cost of this model not including capital costs would be between $80,000 and $150,000 annually.
“Thank you to all the participating agencies and community members who provided input into the future of the City of Wetaskiwin Archives,” said Paul Edginton, General Manager of Community and Protective Services.
“The stakeholder consultation and analysis of this information is critical to better understand how the three options presented to Council will impact the community overall.”
Administration will bring the updated report back to council for consideration by the end of the third quarter of 2022.