MD OF BIGHORN – The Municipal District of Bighorn is beginning the process to develop an updated recreation master plan – its first update in more than 20 years.
The municipality will begin the search to find a consultant to take on the project, which was recommended by administration and approved by council July 12.
The first Recreation Master Plan (RMP) by the MD of Bighorn was developed back in 1981, then revised in 1987. After a reorganization of the MD recreational board, a Community Services Master Plan (CSMP) was created in 1993.
The CSMP has not gone through a review since 2001. Due to this, documents that were revised and approved by council in 2011 and 2013 have not been included in the CSMP. The MD will now be updating that plan for the first time, officially, in over two decades.
“The request for proposals has been through quite a few iterations,” said Doug Saul, community services director. “The community services board recommended that council approve the proposal to recruit a qualified consultant to take the plan.”
Since the RFP was so far out of date, council was in approval of updating it.
“We are talking 40 years ago,” Reeve Lisa Rosvold said. “Some of the ideas that I really want to make sure are represented here is that when the project is completed, or being worked on, that the voices of our community residents, community organizations, are being included.”
Saul noted the process was quite thorough, and all stakeholders would be consulted.
The Recreation and Community Services Programming and Facilities Plan (RCSPFP) will be developed through two phases. The first phase will involve a revising of the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) along with the RCSPFP, to ensure alignment between the two plans. This phase will be completed in 2023 and will cost $45,000.
The second phase will come after the MDP is complete. It will involve a review of the RCSPFP by the same consultant from phase one to ensure coordination and compatibility between the two documents. This phase will complete by early 2024 and cost $8,000.
Rosvold asked about community involvement within the plan, in regard to who would be interviewed during the information gathering portion of the process.
“A number of hamlets are very excited that this is happening, and they want to make sure they can be involved and maybe they are the ones interviewed,” Rosvold said. “Is there a way that if someone wants to be actively involved, that they can ask to be interviewed?”
Saul said the plan would go into detail with each community, breaking down communities into components.
“The bullet list holds the contractor accountable to having visited those communities,” Saul said. “They will be accountable to hearing voices within the community associations, within businesses, with people who are not part of associations but part of the community.”
Council also asked the results be presented based on the community, not as the MD as a whole. Saul said there would be opportunities for the communities to share the report as it is being built and they would be accepting feedback as well.
“We have a number of unique hamlets with unique needs and making sure it is presented in that way,” Rosvold said.