Public consultation planned for second draft Quesnel pool referendum – Quesnel Cariboo Observer
The Quesnel and District Rec Center pool referendum will not take place alongside the October municipal elections.
The North Cariboo Joint Advisory Committee, made up of Quesnel City Council and Cariboo Regional District Directors, has approved a public consultation process where staff will analyze the results and report back to the committee in September, just one month away. before the elections are held.
At a meeting in December, committee members pledged to hold another referendum for the renovation of the Arts and Leisure Center by April 2023.
“We’re just looking for facts to provide fodder for the next elected council and the next elected joint advisory committee, it’s not the referendum consultation,” Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson said.
“This is a preliminary conversation with the community about the kinds of things you would like to see in a recreation center project.”
The committee has debated many different pricing options for the second referendum over the past year and a half, ranging from a cursory renovation to a complete overhaul. The committee plans to present each option to voters through consultation, to see which residents prefer.
A $20 million project, which did not include amenities like a waterslide, was voted down by recreation area voters in June 2021. Staff reported that a specific project would cost significantly more now, due to rising construction costs.
The immediate area around Quesnel is included in the recreation area.
The public consultation is budgeted at $35,000, including $25,000 for design work and $10,000 for communications costs. The plan is to center consultations online at the City of Quesnel’s Let’s Connect platform, and in person at two town halls.
City and district staff noted that in recent Quesnel-focused consultations on Let’s Connect, such as LeBourdais Park, more than a third of attendees lived outside the city limits.
The public engagement would take place between May 2 and June 24, with staff reporting to council on September 13. The North Cariboo Joint Advisory Committee does not generally meet in July or August.
The committee discussed changing the consultation schedule to allow the consultation to take place over a shorter period of time, but ultimately decided against it.
“It’s unfortunate, but that’s how the calendar should work,” said Quesnel Councilwoman Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, who chaired the meeting.
“Personally, I think it’s a waste of time and energy for the staff and (the committee) to try to get the public out during the summer, especially if they’re able to travel and do everything. what he can this summer. There will be no one around. »
In the staff report, public consultation is scheduled to begin on May 2. The dates and times of the open days have not been fixed.
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