Recreation Centre & Proposed School Location
With regards to the decision on Site A as the location for the new Multi Purpose Recreation Facility and High School, the Town of Coaldale claimed there was plenty of public consultation and engagement.
As part of a May 27th, 2019 Global News clip, the Town of Coaldale CAO Kalen Hastings confirms that there was zero public engagement on the site location of the future school.
When surveyed, an overwhelming majority of residents said they should have had a say in the selection of the site for the proposed recreation centre and possible future high school.
Four out of five respondents felt they should have had a say in the recreation centre site selection process.
In March 2019, the CAO was asked why the town did not seek public input into such as huge project. In his reply, the CAO wrote: ...the Town chose to not embark upon a series of disingenuous input sessions on the location when the decision for the location ...had already been made.
The CAO confirmed that there was no community input on this matter of civic importance.
The reason given for not consulting the residents on the location was to ensure that a shovel ready location was available for the new school. With the new school cancelled, for possibly several years due to Government of Alberta cutbacks, and the recreation centre construction not started, why are they still refusing to have public participation sessions on the location? And why is the Town quietly selling off the land for the other location options?
The town of Coaldale administration did a disservice to citizens and ignored their own Public Participation Policy by not allowing the public to have input.
Lately the Town has been using the school as another excuse as to why they don't want a municipal inspection, spreading fear that an inspection could prevent us from getting a new high school for many years.
The truth is, after the last provincial election, the Alberta government cut funding for many new school projects that were not absolutely necessary, including the one that was planned for Coaldale. The government had indicated these cutbacks were necessary and analysts predict they will last for years. If you go on the Government of Alberta website and search for their upcoming school projects, Coaldale is not on the list anywhere.