Identifying the need for an open space, recreation and culture master plan, Wheatland County council directed administration to create a master plan to guide and inform future decision making.
According to a release, the master plan is a document which has been designed to manage open spaces, programs, facilities and amenities until 2030.
It includes recommendations for the County to develop short, medium and long-term capital improvement plans to address community needs and upgrades.
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Matthew Boscariol, said the plan has been in the works for several years and is just now coming to fruition.
“What this plan ultimately does is, it’s kind of a guiding document that provides direction, information and ultimately a path forward for any decisions moving forward with respect to recreation and open spaces within the county.”
“The plan also fits accordingly with our existing guiding documents such as the municipal development plan, our land use bylaw and ultimately the county’s overall strategic plan.”
He added there is a large quantity of open space within the county that is available for cultural and recreational amenities and thus the plan alludes to the importance of those spaces and assets.
Developments that come forward within the county are weighed against the municipal development plan, land use bylaw and the county’s overall strategic plan, should there be a necessity to do so.
“It does have teeth, but ultimately it’s a visioning and guiding document that we can refer to,” said Boscariol.
“We need to ensure that our existing assets like arenas, like baseball diamonds, like working with community groups that have clubhouses are in a state of good repair.”
Reeve Amber Link said through the provision of recreation and culture, the health and well-being of local communities, environment and tourism economy all benefit.
“Wheatland County endeavours to be a leader in these components that develop resilient, strong and sustainable places to live and start a business,” she said.
“Staff were able to develop the vast majority of the master plan internally and create a comprehensive engagement strategy that ensured stakeholders in Wheatland were able to participate and share their ideas.”
The county has mentioned that as an organization it looks forward to implementing various components of the plan into long term budgeting and project considerations.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times