The City of Yorkton has had a consulting firm working over the past several months to put together a ‘Community Plan’ which will eventually be adopted by Council.
Last week the community was given a look at what remains a work in-progress, although the details of the expansive document are beginning to fill in according to Jim Walters with Crosby Hanna & Associates. He gave those attending the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce meeting last Wednesday first look.
The next day was an open house for the public to take a look at the plan and provide feedback.
The Plan is a wide-ranging one which is about the future of Yorkton, and how municipal policy will mold that future.
Most of what is in the Plan, or at least the highlights offered by the consultant speaking to the Chamber, seem to be drawn from previous work in the city.
For example, Walters, mentioned a continued desire by the City to address concerns over the rail line running through the centre of the city.
The rail line was a major issue in a local mayoralty race decades ago, and with the 2010 flood it was realized again that the line is a barrier to water flows.
But any desire to see major work done to the line is as likely as most of us saying we want to buy the winning lottery ticket. The federal government shies away from municipal funding recognizing it as the massive cost lying ahead that coffers already awash in red can not impact.
The province and city don’t have millions lying around to pay for the rail work, and there is little incentive for the rail company to undertake the work.
The highlights also including a look into the City’s sign bylaw. Again not new, but a policy which certainly needs updated.
There is also a cultural aspect to the Plan, but of course that too is far from anything new. Former Councillor Dick DeRyk asked for a policy to be developed a decade ago. It was written, languished and disappeared.
More recently a policy was established, and now on the books.
Ultimately that is what the new Plan is, an over-arching document which brings together elements ranging from a decade-old Downtown Revitalization Plan, to the views brought forward to a community think tank visioning toward 2020, to pieces drawn from existing plans including a vision of culture, and how to better waterproof the community from floods.
While startlingly new ideas may not be present, there is merit to having an over-arching document as a foundation to build a future on. It is always a good idea to have a base document current and future Councils can turn to to stay on course in the face of a growing city. This Plan, once finalized, while not an answer to every growth issue the city will face, should be a good single document roadmap to follow.
The Plan can be viewed in its entirety at www.yorkton.ca/cityhall