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RMWB Council hears land request from McMurray Métis

IMAGE. A colllection of design concepts of the proposed Métis Cultural Centre, part of the request from the McMurray Métis to purchase 7.8 acres of land on MacDonald Island for future development. Supplied by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

RMWB Council meets on June 9 to consider a motion to transfer land to the McMurray Métis.

The organization plans to construct a Métis Cultural Centre on MacDonald Island.

McMurray Métis submitted a formal transfer request for 7.8 acres of land on March 26, 2020.

It includes a portion of the closed roadway called “Fairway Drive”, and three baseball diamonds on MacDonald Island.

The RMWB said the land’s assessed value is $61,515 and estimated the market value of the land between $2.7 and $3.9-million.

McMurray Métis’ design concepts show the building shaped as the Infinity Symbol.

The Centre will include a community gathering space, museum, multipurpose rooms, a commercial kitchen, and conference centre.

Included in its presentation, McMurray Métis said the Centre would strive to reach LEED Platinum certification.

Wood is the ideal choice for the structure of the Centre. Not only is it the traditional material of Métis building culture, but it also sequesters carbon, whereas concrete and steel release large amounts of GHGs in their manufacture.”

The group added locally sourced heavy timber will create jobs.

Contractors would also explore traditional Métis building techniques on a larger scale.

“The roof of the Infinity River is the principal site of establishing local resilience. It is envisioned as a greenhouse capped by transparent solar panels. It will produce electricity and food year-round as well as furnishing a sheltered walkway providing views to key moments in McMurray Métis history.”

McMurray Métis added planters beneath the roof glazing will provide about 20,000 sq.ft. for community gardens.

If approved, the Municipality would require a new legal access route to the golf course clubhouse.

McMurray Métis will also apply to the administration for a development permit for RMWB Council’s consideration at a public hearing.

Capital Projects motion

RMWB Council will also revisit a deferred motion to place capital projects on hold until the completion of flood mitigation.

The motion makes an exception for shovel ready projects and mitigation work.

It also places a hold on the work by the region’s Downtown Revitalization and Waterfront Advisory Committees.

Councillor Jeff Peddle introduced the motion, which received an amendment from Councillor Mike Allen on May 27.

Opponents said some flood-impacted residents require those capital projects to go ahead.

Council meets via teleconference on June 9, 2020, at 4:00 p.m.