A better planet to be city’s focus in 2010

The City of Red Deer will devote greater focus in 2010 to what everyone can do to better the planet.

The City of Red Deer will devote greater focus in 2010 to what everyone can do to better the planet.

As part of the city’s 2009-2011 Strategic Plan, more emphasis will be placed on increasing community participation in environmental stewardship. Strategies will include actively encouraging the community to come up with new and creative environmental initiatives.

City manager Craig Curtis said the city’s environmental advisory committee will partner with staff and others on developing an environmental action plan that will help the city form priorities over the next several years.

Among the initiatives being looked at is having a goods exchange day, where people would put out their goods and others can pick them up for free.

“We’ve got a real focus next year on environment and sustainability,” said Curtis on Friday. “And not that we haven’t had a focus on that, but you will see a stronger emphasis in 2010.”

Curtis outlined a number of city efforts that will get underway next year as part of the strategic plan adopted earlier this year.

Although the city has budget restraints due to an economic slowdown, Curtis said this is the time to do planning and move forward with the city’s vision.

The Greater Downtown Action Plan, adopted last spring, will forge forward with more detailed planning for large-scale downtown development. This includes focusing on 10 priorities, such as firming up zoning and design guidelines for the Riverlands, a mecca of public gathering places to be located west of Taylor Drive.

The city will also look at ways to improve cycling and pedestrian access around Taylor Bridge and Taylor Drive, Curtis said.

The three-storey downtown parkade and new transit facility, where people will be able to buy transit passes, will be finished along 49th Avenue next year.

Construction will also be finished on the new RCMP station at 4602 51st Ave.

Red Deer County and the city have teamed up to finish and implement the River Valley and Tributaries Park Concept Plan, which arises out of the intermunicipal development plan.

“We’ll be looking at potential extensions to the Waskasoo Park,” Curtis said.

The city will also hold a formal review of municipal operations, plus of its capital infrastructure.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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