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Street lighting project in Didsbury approved

Four streetlights on Main Street to be updated to heritage-style pendent streetlights

DIDSBURY - Town council has approved a street lighting replacement project, which will see several overhead lights replaced on Main Street. The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

The project resulted from an infrastructure department decision to contact Fortis with a request to undertake a lane closure along 20th Street in front of businesses, on the east side, to replace four overhead cobra-style streetlight standards as part of their maintenance, council heard.

“The department engaged Fortis to determine if the town could request Fortis install decorative heritage-style overhead lights, consistent with the style chosen for the south end of 20th Street,” said Ethan Gorner, the town's chief administrative officer (CAO), in a briefing note to council.

“Fortis’ standard approach to this situation is the municipality covers the cost of the incremental improvement. The estimated cost of this projects is $30,000, including a 10 per cent contingency to account for detail design and material cost fluctuation. The opportunity provides a low risk solution to the town’s ongoing streetlight continuity program through our commercial corridor.”

Council passed a motion approving the amendment to the 2021 street lighting continuity capital project to upgrade four streetlights on Main Street to heritage-style pendent streetlights for an additional cost of up to $30,000, to be funded from the Canada Community Building Fund grant.”

Stage redevelopment considered

In other council news, councillors have approved the prioritization of redevelopment of the Memorial Park stage. The move also came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

In June council instructed administration to investigate the cost of a permanent structure covering on the stage at the park, as recommended by the Didsbury Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Administration was asked to look into options for this space to be able to accommodate live performances at the park in the future.

In a briefing note to council, CAO Gorner said in reviewing the site for usability, access and investment, administration identified a number of items, including the following:

• The current placement of the stage doe snot make the best use of this site. It reduces the amount of seating available to an event and should be relocated if improvements are made.

• An extension to the tiered bowl-type seating should be considered to maximize the space and increase capacity of attendees at an event.

• The stage is small, uncovered and not a desirable location for artists. A fully enclosed, covered stage of at least three times the size would be ideal.

• Upgrades to utilities should be considered to accommodate large bands and sound equipment.

• The addition of permanent washrooms would be required as part of this upgrade.

• Investment in upgrading this site to increase usability and access would be substantial.

During its Sept. 8 meeting, the strategic planning committee agreed to prioritizing redevelopment of the site as part of the future culture master plan, undertake a visioning exercise with an external consultant to explore all the potential for the site, incorporating input from possible users, and once cost estimates and timelines are known, adding the project to the multi-year capital plan.

Council passed a motion on Sept. 14 to “approve the prioritization of redevelopment of the Memorial Park stage, and that a letter be sent to the Didsbury Economic Development Advisory Committee updating them as to the status of this initiative.”

The Sept. 14 council meeting was held in person and online.

Dan Singleton

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