Plans to reshape the city’s downtown core are now complete.
City council granted the third and final reading on the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (DARP) which sets the stage for a revitalization of downtown Lloydminster. Overall, the plan presents several recommendations and goals for the next 15 years.
Some of the more immediate actionable items include creating a downtown committee, implementing incentives and grants and holding more events in the core.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the next step will be to incorporate some of the recommendations into the budget.
“If you don’t act on a report, the report’s very useless. This will be the opportunity for this council to give direction to administration and it will lie with the next council to ensure that the report continues to move forward.”
City staff reached out to stakeholders one last time on July 14th before fully accepting the report. Respondents brought up the need to slow traffic in the area to entice people to stop and shop. They also suggested alternate routes to reduce backup from the railroad as well as expressed the need for an overpass.
Respondents would also like to see downtown become a cultural centre for the city and art facilities or exhibits incorporated. With the Lloydminster Culture and Science Centre closed to the public and eventually decommissioned, the idea of having the temporary space put up in downtown would fill some of those wants.
Aalbers says there are challenges associated with it as there still will be ongoing outdoor exhibits at the LCSC’s current location.
“We simply can’t pick up X number of acres and plunk them somewhere else and try and incorporate it. There is certainly options. I know administration looks forward to taking calls from businesses and developers proposing where the future site could be for the next 10 years as a temporary space until we could move forward on the existing site.”
He says ultimately DARP will help the city guide developers and investors interested in downtown properties.
“With time and creativity, I think we could see a lot of things happen downtown.”