The City of Wetaskiwin’s council approved a final design plan with some changes brought about by a recent open house, at its March 14 meeting.
“The open house was well attended,” said Robin Benoit, director of engineering and development services. Pubic opinion voiced at the open house covered issues including washroom locations, bench locations, construction, an amphitheater, noise pollution, landscaping, and games tables.
In the proposed plan presented to council on March 14 washrooms were located near 50th Avenue in the northwest corner of the park. However, there was some unhappiness and they are to be moved closer to the northwest NorQuest College building, says Benoit.
“There was comments made about using porta potties,” said Benoit. They were deemed not to be functional or aesthetically pleasing.
“We’re going to be sticking with the washrooms,” he added.
The park design includes an expansive walking trail and Benoit says all the benches on the outside of the trail will be moved to the inside.
Jubilee Park is not the only large project the city has scheduled for this year and Coun. Joe Branco wanted to know how the park project timeline would align with Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the Main Street Restoration project.
With the projects tendered separately there is a concern for parking and space availability for construction equipment.
“The community had expressed concerns with blocking all their roadways with construction equipment,” said Coun. Wayne Neilson. Mayor Bill Elliot confirmed there will have to be some detours.
At the open house a suggestion for a splash park was made but Benoit says the general consensus is the area should have a more “passive”, “reflective” feel.
A raised amphitheater is also part of the plan. “The proposed amphitheater was generally accepted,” said Benoit.
He added there was some concern about noise but the proposed location is accepted.
Benoit also informed council the option of putting wi-fi into the area is being explored, along with more perennial plants and stone game tables.
When it comes to park lighting Benoit says planning is looking at a dark skies friendly concept.
Coun. Bert Horvey questioned if it would be possible in the park’s future to install solar powered lighting that would charge during the day and light the park at night.
“It fits in with our green thoughts,” said Elliot.
Branco says, with Main Street (50th Avenue) being dug up around the same time, he feels gas lines that would allow for open flame in the park should be installed. He also brought up gas powered lighting. “Since we’re digging up Main Street … we’re ripping it all up, so why not?”