Vol. 15 Issue 3, Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer
Following the two open houses in October, a 90% completed detailed design of the Main Street Revitalization project was presented by GENIVAR to City of Wetaskiwin Council on January 17, 2011. Four options were presented to Council ranging from $11 million dollars to the ‘ultimate’ option #4 estimated at $18.4 million. Although this meeting was open to the public to learn how GENIVAR recommends millions of dollars can be used for the Main Street Revitalization project, only a few members of the public attended.
Following considerable public input in October, GENIVAR compiled all of the comments and feedback, made adjustments to their design based on these comments and completed and presented a revised copy of the Main Street plan. GENIVAR, at the end of their presentation said the next steps are for Council to make a decision on its choice of option 1-4, begin the process of staging for financing and then go to tender, hopefully in early February of 2011.
Since this meeting was not a regular Council meeting, no decisions were made but a great deal of discussion ensued. Bob Stauth, Public Works Manager looked at the diagram of the proposed Main Street revitalization and stated he would like to see the entire project completed. Ted Gillespie, City Manager, on the other hand, cautioned Council that undertaking the entire project would extend the City (grant money) too much and limit development in other areas such as a new Recreation Centre or Airport development. He recommends that the City proceed with Phase I of the Revitalization of Main Street in the business section, 48th to 53 Street over the next two years.
GENIVAR, throughout the process has encouraged public input. Janis Fong, P. Eng., Manager, Transportation & Urban Infrastructure with GENIVAR stated they would like to thank all who provided input and have, helped us make Main Street a street that meets the needs of the public and stakeholders.
She is especially pleased with the uniqueness of this project. “The streetscape has been designed by the community and it will have their imprint on it. It will help bring back the heart of the City of Wetaskiwin and create opportunities for becoming a destination that will contribute to the vibrancy and economic activity in the downtown.”
The planning and process was pretty much on schedule throughout. “No setbacks really, but we were not able to resolve all of the challenges, e.g. the CP railway line separating the downtown.” However she balanced that by saying the biggest success they enjoyed were, “The positive responses and excitement of the community to the project.”
Janice concluded her comments by saying, “GENIVAR is proud to be a part of this exciting project. The cooperation of businesses along Main Street, Council, the Steering Committee and the City’s administration, especially the Public Works and Engineering staff, has been bar none. We wouldn’t have made the progress that we have made without their involvement and support – from the first open house in March 2010, to the community consultation, design charrettes and open houses conducted in July through to October, and now through the design process. For the past two months, our team has been busy getting the design drawings for the entire project ready for a February tender.”
Together with the City of Wetaskiwin, GENIVAR will be setting up an information centre on Main Street where project updates and display materials will be available for the public to view as the project progresses. Additionally, the public will be able to “drop in” and ask questions or voice any concerns they may have at this location. Throughout the detailed design phase of this project, GENIVAR will continue to issue newsletters to update interested members of the public. However, they will issue them on a less frequent basis until construction begins, at which point we will begin issuing monthly updates again.
For more information contact Bob Stauth, Public Works Manager, City of Wetaskiwin at 780-361-4437.