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Residents offer thoughts on putting life back into downtown

PHOTO. Municipal staff speak with residents about how to breathe life back into the Fort McMurray's downtown core at a public engagement sesssion at Jubilee Plaza. MYMCMURRAY.COM/Phil Wood.

Jubilee Plaza was the place for people to talk about breathing life back into the downtown core.

During the summer, residents with ideas about sprucing up the downtown may attend a session and fill an online survey.

RMWB Stakeholder Relations and communications spokesperson Adam Hardiman says turnout during the first session at the Urban Market was positive.

“Some tough conversations, some really good conversations, but they’re all really valuable to us. We just want people to participate.”

A previous downtown study from 2012 involved an out-of-town consultancy firm.

However, it lacked input from community members.

This time, the Municipality wants a locally driven revitalization plan.

So far, residents had some thought-provoking questions about the downtown.

Many felt the boundaries should include Abasand, while others said it should go from MacDonald Island to Peter Pond Mall.

One resident from Fort McKay mentioned the Municipality should address transporting residents from rural communities to the area.

Over the coming weeks, Hardiman says public involvement and input is essential in getting the downtown back on track.

“This is a fresh start. There’s a lot of things people wish we would have done yesterday, but we got to make sure we do this right and it’s got to be driven by the residents and the community.”

The next public information session will be at MacDonald Island Park on Thursday, June 27, from 4 – 8 p.m.

Also, Heritage Shipyard at Heritage Park is the venue for a special Canada Day session starting at 1 p.m.