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Council approves Roxby market

One hundred thousand dollars will go a long way to making over an under utilized gem in Rutland's Town Centre.

The money, provided by the City for the 'Our Rutland' initiative, will go towards a makeover of Roxby Park on Highway 33. The makeover will include an open air market.

During a lengthy public consultation and on-line marketing campaign, 120 suggestions were put forward to utilize the $100,000.

In the end, project spokesperson, Michelle Kam, says a hybrid of the most popular choice (public market) and the third choice (Roxby Park enhancements) was selected.

"The public market space at Roxby Park will work with the Rutland Parks Society who are currently looking at re-branding their flea market," says Kam.

"They want to keep it at the same time on Sunday morning, but they agreed to the new location which will bring fresh energy, increased visibility (because it is off the highway) and they will have electrical outlets. It also shows that group and the City are listening to the public because public market space did come first."

804 people took a Castanet poll on the five ideas put out by the City:

  • 644 people voted for the public market space
  • 100 people voted for a Fitness/Urban Movement Park
  • 23 people wanted to see a Community Mural Program
  • 20 wanted Roxby Park Enhancements. In final spot
  • 17 voted for Aura Park Enhancements.

Kam says the Rutland Park Society will be responsible for the operation and the coordination of the market.

The makeover will also incorporate park of the adjoining parking lot.

City planner, Pat McCormack, says the concept will be to utilize the park plaza as the 'front door' to the community market area.

While the park and a portion of the parking lot will undergo renovations, Councillor Mohini Singh wondered what exactly people would see when they enter the park.

"Is there going to be just an outdoor flea market or is there going to be more there?" asked Singh.

"Is there going to be some artists displaying their products...I just want to get an idea. If it's just another flea market I don't see it as being such a magnet."

Kam says the Park Society is hoping to enhance what they have and add other things as well.

"They are working on some business planning for what that's going to look like. It hasn't all been flushed out as to what it's going to be," says Kam.

Singh added it would be great if there was something to make this area different - a reason to drive across town to be part of this.

Kam says events such as music in the park, community events, book sales etc could also be featured within the space.

Cost of enhancements come in at $132,000 which includes a $22,000 contingency fund.

Kam says additional funds will be transferred from Policy and Planning’s professional and consulting services budget which was carried over in 2014 budget year meaning there will be no additional taxes required.

Project design is expected to take the balance of the year with construction set for next spring.

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