Westerner delays third phase of improvements due to funding

Improvements planned for the coming year at Westerner Park have been postponed despite a successful 2010.

Improvements planned for the coming year at Westerner Park have been postponed despite a successful 2010.

Wendy Barnes, president of the board of directors, told stakeholders at the annual general meeting on Wednesday night that Phase 3 of the Strategic Development Plan has been put off until funding becomes available.

“Now we’ll be looking at ways to get funding and put that in place,” she said. “It will take some time.”

Phase 3 deals with the relocation of the Chalet, reshaping of Pioneer Park and the Amphitheatre, and construction of the a pedestrian promenade.

She said Westerner Park will continue to work with all levels of government until funding can be secured to finance these projects.

The rest of her annual review focused on the successes of the past year.

Barnes, who will complete her two-and-a-half-year term as board president in January, said she hopes 2010 proves to be a tough year to beat.

This includes the record breaking attendance at Westerner Days.

“I hope at least my record stands at least for one more year,” Barnes admitted.

Three new attendance records were set at the annual fair, including total attendance that saw more than 92,000 people pass through the gates. This resulted in $7 million in economic impact for Red Deer and the region, Barnes said.

Other successes that she highlighted included improved traffic flow at the event grounds and the addition of 580 parking spaces. The planting of 225 trees and 1,200 shrubs and powering Westerner Days with renewable sources were also mentioned.

Barnes’ successor will be named at the board meeting in January.

ptrotter@bprda.wpengine.com