Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Committee of the Whole, November 17th

Council has a "Committee of the Whole" meeting today at noon and even through the agenda is only 3 items long we will be discussing some pretty interesting things. Here's the agenda with my comments in italics:

1. Marketing of Former Germain Park Property
At our last council meeting Ald. Blackmore made a motion to refer the issue to a Committee of the Whole meeting so we could all discuss the future of this property and what conditions (if any) are put on any future sale. Interestingly when council decided originally to list the property in June of 2008 we were told it was worth $295,000 but my the time the property was actually listed in Jan of 2009 it's appraised value had dropped to, $195,000. Now the report for this meeting contains a new appraisal (Nov 4th 2009) that values the property at $322,000. Quite a swing.

I still feel council should hold on to the property.

2. The Multiplex – Theming RFP 23-400-09
The construction plan for the multiplex has always included a budget for adding "theming" to some parts of the aquatics centre. What's "theming"? - think of Disney Land, or Galaxy Land at West Edmonton Mall... the areas that look like rocks and trees are "theming". The "fun" parts of the aquatics centre (like the spray-deck, dump tower, flowrider and adventure river) will get a theming treatment that will give the area the feel of a water park. We've always said that this facility will be an attraction for Grande Prairie and this is part of that plan. I kind of put it this way; we know lots of people come to GP from all over to GP to shop or visit friends... this will be an attraction, like West Ed Mall that they'll have to visit... hopefully getting them to extend their stay another day... and spend more money in our city.

The budget for the theming is $900,000 and Studio Y Creations out of Calgary the company that admin is recommending. You can see samples of their work in the Portfolio section of their website. (it told me I needed a newer version of Flash when I visited but I just went in anyhow and the site worked fine.)

3. The Multiplex – RCMP Office Expansion
Another part of the plan for the multiplex has been to have a office in there for the RCMP. It makes a lot of sense given that the site will be home to two high schools eventually (the current St. Joes plus a future Public High School) and that it provides coverage to the extreme south of the city.

The original plan called for a small 1 room office, in this report admin is requesting permission to expand that office into more of a "satellite office" with 4 rooms including 4 work stations, a waiting area an interview room and a communications room. The additional cost is $222,521.07 and would come from the Multiplex's overall contingency in the construction budget.

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