Is Turner Park the best spot for a permanent campground in Fort Saskatchewan?
City council took the first steps toward answering that question on Tuesday night, voting to have staff make room in the 2019 budget for a study looking into the best long-term locations for a campground in the city.
Councillor Brian Kelly put the motion forward, saying he wanted to give council a dollar figure to debate during budget deliberations. The study would help the city make an informed decision that would last into the long-term, he added.
“We can cut the budget back if we deem it necessary or warrant it,” he said of the potential cost of the campground study.
The proposed study would aim to find out more information about potential campground locations in the city, including a possible expansion of the existing Fort Lions site into Turner Park.
Mayor Gale Katchur, voting in favour of the budget request, pointed out that "potentially there could be more than one location for a family campground versus a longer-term campground versus a ballpark campground."
Agreeing that the proposed study was a good idea but disagreeing with its timing, councillor Ed Sperling voted down Kelly’s motion. Sperling gave the only no vote on the issue.
"When I look at throwing money at this and then a year and a half down the road, or a year down the road, we get our annexation approved, we've got new lands brought into the city, including river valley lands, that may be a good site for a campground relocation,” he said. If we are successful with the annexation, I think that we can build out a plan with our new river valley lands that we have including ones available today.”
Later in October city council will debate amending a Turner Park land use bylaw that if approved could open the door for the Lions to expand their existing campground.