Wet weather doesn’t wash out revitalization ideas
By Patrick Teskey
Over 50 Innisfail residents and business owners braved stormy weather to have their say on the town’s proposed revitalization during an open house on May 19 at Ol’ Moose Hall.
The event was the first opportunity people had to share their ideas and visions for the redevelopment of the downtown core as well as the reconstruction of 50 St. from Fas Gas to McDonald’s, which is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012.
Craig Teal, a planner with Parkland Community Planning Services, said they received some significant input from the residents and business people in attendance, as well as from concerned residents.
“It’s just nice to get different points of view,” he said, noting that one common idea was adding floral baskets during the summer months.
A number of displays were set up around the room outlining the process involved in the redevelopment, the planning needed to manage construction during the redevelopment, as well as numerous conceptual designs that included everything from trees along the street to ornamental lighting.
David Layden, a local business owner and the chair of the steering committee for the revitalization and redevelopment, said many of the key stakeholders see the open house as an opportunity to get everyone on the same page.
“They’re at the stage now they’re kind of happy there could be a direction,” he said. “The businesses have been looking for that for years.”
Anyone who missed the open house but would still like their say can go to the town’s website to view the displays and email their ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next step in the process is a series of visioning workshops scheduled for July 19-20.
Teal said the hope is the public investment in redevelopment will spur on private investment from the local businesses.
“It’s got to work as a package,” he said. “When we talk streetscapes, we’re talking about outdoor rooms. The town owns the floor, but other people own the walls. There’s only so much you’re going to do in creating a nice room by playing with the floor.”