At the regular Feb. 8, 2021 City Council meeting, Wetaskiwin City Council defeated the motion to redistrict the Wetaskiwin Civic Building from C1 (Downtown Commercial) to DC (Direct Control).
After defeating the motion, it reinforced the necessity to continue the State of Local Emergency in order to keep the Hub in the Wetaskiwin Civic Building until a new location can be found for it. Currently the Integrated Response Hub does not fit the definition of the allowable uses listed under the Downtown Commercial zoning.
“There were concerns voiced that the Integrated Resource Hub would stay at the Civic Building permanently if the zoning for the building was changed,” stated Mayor Tyler Gandam. “This is not the case, and the City will continue to work on finding a permanent location for the Hub.”
The Integrated Response Hub which is responsible for assisting Wetaskiwin’s vulnerable humans, will remain in the Wetaskiwin Civic Building until a permanent home can be found for the Hub.
A Downtown Safety Plan was also presented to City Council at the Feb. 8 meeting by Administration after City representatives, including City Council members, met with numerous downtown business owners to listen to their concerns about the proximity of the Hub and the impact it has on their business.
The Downtown Safety Plan would include a combined approach of increased downtown foot patrols, additional lighting in the area, a designated gathering area, and enhanced communication between the City, the community, and all involved agencies.
Administration is scheduled to bring a report back to City Council on March 22, 2021 detailing the cost of re-locating the Integrated Response Hub to another area within the community.