Municipality and Wildrose hope for Willow Square

By VERNA MURPHY, Connect Contributor

MLA Tany Yao included some drawings in his presentation of what Willow Square would look like if the province moves ahead with the development. SUPPLIED PHOTO

MLA Tany Yao included some drawings in his presentation of what Willow Square would look like if the province moves ahead with the development. SUPPLIED PHOTO

The council meeting on October 20 saw many long term issues discussed, once again. The first item on the agenda saw some capital projects cancelled, or deferred, with a few new projects added in, including the Richardson Bridge on the way to Fort Chipewyan.

Councillor John Chadi said the bridge was badly needed in order to keep supplies going to the Northern community, even during the winter months, to keep the costs down for goods.

Councillor Sheldon Germain wondered why the province wasn’t paying for some of the project, and Mayor Blake said it has always been that way, but with the new government, maybe it could become a new lobby issue to change those types of funding issues. Germain found it ironic that the standards for the project were set by Alberta Transportation, but that there was no funding from the province.

Council approved to have Deloitte LLP as their external auditor for the 2016 year, as well as, for the Wood Buffalo Regional Library, the Regional Recreation Corporation and for the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation.

“We came to the conclusion that the seniors were right all along, that Willow Square is the best place for this type of development,” said MLA Tany Yao.

MLA Tany Yao gave a detailed presentation about the proposed site at Willow Square for the seniors’ development.
“We came to the conclusion that the seniors were right all along, that Willow Square is the best place for this type of development,” said Yao. The twenty-two page presentation can be viewed at www.rmwb.ca.

When Councillor Keith McGrath asked about the lack of construction at the Parsons Creek project, where a long term care facility is supposedly underway, Yao said that he had reason to believe that the project there may be on hold, but was not sure.

MLA Yao said that himself and MLA Brian Jean will continue to let the NDP government know that the community and council support the facility being built on Willow Square.

Councillor Tyran Ault had put forward a motion that $10.5 million would be put forward by the municipality towards the project if the province moves ahead. Ault said that it has been two years that he has been on council, and felt that it was time for them to put their money where their mouth was.

He feels putting this money forward, the first time that the council has committed money to the project that it will show the province their commitment to developing the project at Willow Square. The motion passed.

Yao stated in reviewing documents to prepare this presentation he found that former MLAs seemed to have directed the project to be built in Parsons Creek.

Two other motions were brought forward for debate and for a vote. Both motions were brought forward by Councillor McGrath. It was decided that some policies and guidelines would be developed for large capital projects. The other motion by McGrath was over the twin arenas project on the Northside.

McGrath said he did not want to be seen as a pessimist, but a realist. He said that he did not want to kill the project, but would rather see it shelved and see if they could get a better price for what they were wanting to build there.

McGrath believes they could have more than just two sheets of ice for the $43 million dollar price tag.

Councillor Sheldon Germain had pushed hard for this twin arena project, but voted with McGrath to shelve the project to see if it could be done cheaper. In the end, the motion was defeated, and the project will move forward in the spring.

To view the October 20th meetings, and much more: visit www.rmwb.ca.

– Connect Weekly –