By Justin Seward
Cypress County council is on board to support the process of building a new Sandy Point Park playground after voting in favour of providing a letter of support to help the Hilda Community Association with a CFEP (Community Facility Enhancement Program) grant at its Sept. 4 regular meeting.
The Hilda Community Association is willing to apply for a CFEP grant to remove and reinstall a newly purchased playground equipment in a 50/50 partnership with the county.
“It would enhance for local lying traffic and campers,” said Kim Dalton, the county’s director of public works.
Coun. Michelle McKenzie knows from camping there that it’s time for an upgrade with how well used the old one was.
“That playground gets used a fair amount during the summer. But it’s only during the summer, in the winter time, hardly anybody goes down there,” she said.
“There are people not necessarily camping there . I’ve seen people pull off the highway because there is a long way between Medicine Hat and Oyen where there (is not) anything. People will just stop and take a break and let their kids play on that playground.”
Sandy Point is owned and operated by the county and has 15 campsites and a boat launch project that is expected to commence this fall, a camp kitchen, playground horse shoe pits and a baseball back stop.
Council additionally voted to contribute 50 per cent of the playground establishment costs to a maximum cost of $50,000.
Recreation Master Plan
Cypress County administration as per council’s direction will publicize a request for proposal for a Recreation Master Plan and to approve the criteria as presented.
A consultant will come in and help with the master plan and the scope will include an inventory of recreation services and facilities, provision and inventory of parks, trails and environmental areas, community and social planning needs, detailed action plans. A public house and survey would also be conducted as well as seeking to build local capacity, serving as a foundation to respond to parks, recreation and leisure concerns, guide the policies and programs and highlights community assets. Council also voted to amend the motion to add cemeteries, community halls and libraries.
Council voted in favour to send a letter of support for HALO and a review to the provincial HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) model to the Premier and Minister of Health.
Letters are being sent from around the southern region after a Mayors and Reeves meeting was held in Taber in July where it was announced the program has a $750,000 shortfall before the new contract can be signed on Oct. 1.
At the meeting a motion was passed to get the Premier and Health Minister to provide adequate ongoing funding to HALO and to provide the $750,000 bridge funding needed to get to the next contract.