Catalyst committee 707-page report met with mixed reactions from Regina residents, councillors
Wednesday marked the first time some of Regina’s top decision-makers got to digest the 707-page report submitted by the catalyst committee on future Regina projects.
At Regina’s City Hall, there was a buzz of excitement for the potential projects coming to Regina, but also notes of concern throughout the afternoon.
Of the concerns voiced, many took issue with the timeline of the committee releasing a seven-hundred-page report and only giving people three hours to request to speak in council chambers.
The report was released on Friday, Feb. 24, and people were given three hours to apply on Monday, Feb. 27 to be in attendance at Wednesday’s executive committee.
“Most people have no idea this is going on and most of the people you usually see here aren’t here,” said Regina resident Kelly Miller at the meeting.
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Members of the council also raised concerns with the report’s timeline.
An amendment was proposed to move the discussions of the walking path, the downtown arena and the central library to a special city council meeting on March 22.
Meanwhile, the new aquatic centre would be discussed on March 8. The amendment was carried five to three, with councillors Bob Hawkins and John Findura along with mayor Sandra Masters in opposition.
Coun. Andrew Stevens hopes the pushed-back discussions can give the community more time to ingest the report and voice their opinions.
In terms of the projects, the committee recommended five facilities across Regina costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
The committee noted a new aquatic centre was the number one priority from a community survey, followed by the central library project, the multi-purpose event centre, the outdoor baseball facility and the outdoor synthetic soccer field.
Miller believes the catalyst committee didn’t listen to the public’s opinions when creating the report and believes other infrastructure in the Queen City needs more attention than those proposed in the report.
“They talk about how this is going to draw people to the city. Well, the fact that you have a city with lead and asbestos pipes is not a draw for people to come to the city,” Miller said.
For others, the report deserves applause for the potential it brings to the city.
“I think it’s exciting that we are finally considering some big projects for the city of Regina,” said Leasa Gibbons, the executive director of Regina’s Warehouse Business Improvement District. “We’re long overdue to renew some of our infrastructure.”
The debates on the future of Regina’s city projects will continue throughout the coming weeks.
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