by EVAN MATTHEWS
The dog days of summer aren’t too far away, and one local woman has suggested a few new ideas to really help Valemount shine.
Kim Thorn submitted a letter to the Nov. 22, 2016 Village of Valemount Council meeting. The letter request Council to consider a number of suggestions to enhance the lifestyle for citizens of Valemount.
All of Thorn’s suggestions relate to Centennial Park, and include creating a splash park on the tennis courts, relocation of the proposed stage from the Visitor Info Center to the park, improved public washrooms and drinking fountains, a relocation of the community market, as well as a community garden and fruit trees.
Council referred the letter to the Public Works Committee, which came up with a few responses.
A splash park, according to the Public Works Committee, depending on the nature of the project, amount of water used and water discharge facilities, can be either a reasonable cost or an expensive one.
“The Village spends considerable money to treat Village water, so the amount used should be carefully considered,” the report reads.
A simple sprinkler system may be economical, according to the Village, but further investigation would need to be done on sprinkler types, timers, location and drainage.
A more extensive splash park as seen in larger centers, using recycled water, would require considerably more research, and investigation of possible funding sources, according to the Village.
“If it’s not kept simple, it’s not going to be a feasible thing,” said Councillor Peter Reimer. “I wouldn’t even want to consider wasting staff’s time dealing with that.
“But there may be a simplified version that may work,” he said.
Council suggested locals interested in a splash park do the research and present a delegation to council.
Centennial Park was originally considered as a possible location for the stage, according to the Village, but the location was dropped from the list because of the residential uses in the immediate area. Music from the Band Shell could cause concern in the residential area, the Village stated.
Improved washrooms and fountains
The Village stated the current washrooms are adequate for the present park use, and they’ve been repainted this year. Public water fountains are considered a liability and would not be supported, according to the Village.
Relocation of the Community Market
The organizers of the Community (Farmers) Market had chosen the area by the Info Center in order to attract highway traffic, according to the Village, and the ability to sell directly from their vehicles is a benefit for this type of market, which would be difficult to achieve at Centennial Park.
Community garden and trees
The Village pointed out there is already a garden facility on Village property behind the high school, a site in which there is already water running to the site and some deer fencing. “It may be reasonable to look further at this site with respect to agreements and use as a community garden,” the Village’s statement reads.
“A couple of years ago the high school embarked on trying to create public gardens,” said Hollie Blanchette.
“It had absolutely no response,” she said.
Due to the busyness of Village staff, Blanchette suggested those interested in a community garden form their own committee, do the research, and present to council.