It appears that a majority of Fort Saskatchewan residents leave the city to get their fill of recreation.
This comes from the results of the city's recent indoor recreation survey that was released late last month.
"59 per cent of those households that responded said they participate in indoor recreation and use facilities beyond Fort Saskatchewan," said Brad Babiak, the director of culture and recreation for the city.
Among the facilities outside of the city that are popular with residents is Millenium Place in Sherwood Park, which houses a much larger aquatics facility complete with a wave pool.
Included in the survey was a request by respondents to build a new pool in Fort Saskatchewan.
Some of the other facilities included were surrounding ice rinks, including the Mark Messier and Servus arenas in St. Albert, the Sherwood Park arena, and arenas in Ardrossan, Lamont, and Josephburg.
While there were some positive things that respondents had to say about Fort Saskatchewan arenas, there were a few gripes that were also levied.
"Specifically, regarding arenas, some of the comments we heard related to the JRC were improvements in the washrooms, upgrading the change rooms, and making the upstairs area more accessible," said Babiak. "We had some awareness of this from our recent study of the JRC to look at that."
"In terms of the Dow-Sherritt arena, a lot [of concerns] were around spectator seating."
Babiak added that some of the concerns with the JRC, regarding accessibility, will be addressed through its ongoing modernization.
As for what the city is planning to do to keep residents in the city enjoying local recreation facilities, this is just the first of many steps in developing a concrete plan.
The city and their consultants are currently undertaking research on some of the trends related to these types of facilities, as well as taking a look at what kind of facilities are present in comparable communities.
"All of that will be combined to make up a facility program," said Babiak. "[This program] will look at which areas would be worth considering moving forward with offering expanded opportunities or some different amenities to better meet the needs of Fort Saskatchewan indicated in the survey."
The impatience of the community is not lost on the city. Babiak indicates that he is aware of the frustration around the long process, but that they are ensuring that if they do decide to do something, they do it the best they can.
"I can understand the desire to move through things quickly, but one of the things council has been very clear in is they want to ensure they have good information to make a decision about what type of investments to do for the future."
"We hope to have the facility program to council before summer."
To get a look at the complete and full survey results, click here.