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RFD- 3093 Administrative Updates   Item #   4. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 08/14/2017  
Title:    Community Engagement Report - Event Centre - Hetherington
Department: Corporate Communications  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Grow a Business - A strong, diversified regional business centre Related Goal: Spruce Grove has a robust, growing economic base that generates balanced revenues to support the City’s high standards for services and programs.

Information
Request for Decision Summary
This report reflects the results of the City's community engagement work on the proposed event centre concept.

Proposed Motion
That the Community Engagement report on the Multi-Use Sport and Event Centre be received as information.

Background/Analysis
On March 27, 2017 the City of Spruce Grove publicly introduced a proposal to develop a $79 million Multi-Use Sport and Event Centre (SEC) on property located along Yellowhead Highway and the Century Road interchange known as Westwind Centre.

The concept aligns with the City's original vision for Westwind Centre to be a regional commercial, hospitality and entertainment destination. It also meets the needs of the community and creates a destination amenity.

The proposed SEC, along with the adjacent broader Westwind Centre development, will be the largest development in Spruce Grove's history and be a significant economic driver for the region. Its location, scale and scope will place Spruce Grove, as well as the region, on the map as a major retail and entertainment destination.

The SEC will feature:
  • Two ice surfaces - a main, multi-use seating bowl that can accommodate up to 5,300 people (3,500 fixed seating expandable to 5,300 for concerts and similar events) and a second community pad that can accommodate up to 200 people seated/standing.
  • A main concourse with access to seating, washrooms and concessions.
  • Private suites that will be available for the spectator bowl.
  • The ability to host a variety of events including sporting tournaments, trade shows, craft fairs, conferences, concerts, graduations, memorials, award ceremonies and more.

For the first phase of community engagement, the City launched communications to raise awareness of the proposal, share information and gather feedback. The engagement period was from March 28 through to July 7, 2017.

The community was encouraged to provide feedback via the City’s website or through a dedicated email address, SEC@sprucegrove.org.

Key themes
The feedback across all means of engagement was largely the same. The following six key themes emerged:

A much-need addition to the city/region
Feedback indicated enthusiasm for the proposal from both an event potential perspective as well as a sporting opportunity perspective. People were excited about the possibility to have more ice time, concerts, dance recitals, sports tournaments and craft shows right here in Spruce Grove. Several also felt it was “about time” the Westwind lands were being developed.

Clarification on the type of the facility
There was a perception that the facility was a recreation centre similar to the Tri Leisure Centre and requests were made for aquatics, squash, soccer, a climbing wall and a fitness centre.

Funding
More clarification and specifics are needed regarding the funding model. This includes operational and capital costs. The questions asked included who the partners would be, who would run the facility, what if a partner backed out and would local groups receive better rates than non-local.

Impact on taxes
Several questions were asked regarding the impact on the resident tax payer. A more thorough explanation of how this would impact their property taxes in the future was desired.

Impact on other projects and priorities
Questions were asked about the impact on other projects such as would currently planned projects be stopped or would they be scaled back if the proposal went forward. Others commented that there are other priorities that the City should be spending money on or why is the City only spending money on sporting venues.

Parking and traffic concerns
Concerns were raised about parking and traffic. Some were concerned that the residential area close to the development would see increased traffic. Concerns were also raised about access to the development. Others were concerned that there were not enough parking spaces allocated at the site.


Options/Alternatives
Consultation/Engagement
Communications and engagement activities

Media release
A media release announcing the proposed concept was distributed to all local and Edmonton media. The story was picked up by every major broadcaster in Edmonton as well as both local media sources. These included:
  • CTV Edmonton
  • Global Edmonton
  • CBC
  • 630 Ched/iNews880
  • Edmonton Journal
  • Edmonton Sun
  • 88.1 the One
  • Grove Examiner

Website
The City set up a dedicated spot on the website (www.sprucegrove.org/SEC) to direct people to for information and provided an opportunity for feedback via an email address or web form. A news story was also posted on the City's website announcing the proposal.

Analytics: March 27 – July 7, 2017
SEC landing page (sprucegrove.org/SEC): 1678 pageviews, 1303 unique

Website feedback form (sprucegrove.org/SECFeedback): 241 pageviews, 168 unique

Website news item posted on main page of sprucegrove.org: 2037 pageviews, 1835 unique

Facebook
Four posts were made. The posts introduced the concept of the proposal and shared the details of the public information presentations.

Note: Facebook analytics include direct engagement on City’s post and on post shares

First post (March 28): 11,425 people reached
309 reactions, comments and shares
Reactions:
171 Like
14 Love
4 Wow
0 Angry
Comments: 61
Shares: 60

Second post (March 30): 6,730 people reached
115 reactions, comments and shares
Reactions:
47 Like
3 Love
0 Wow
3 Angry
Comments: 50
Shares: 12

Third post (April 3): 3,880 people reached
25 reactions, comments and shares
Reactions:
12 Like
1 Love
0 Wow
0 Angry
Comments: 6
Shares: 6

Fourth post (April 4): 11,026 people reached
183 reactions, comments and shares
Reactions:
83 Like
7 Love
4 Wow
0 Angry
Comments: 46
Shares: 43

Twitter
Four posts were made. The posts introduced the concept of the proposal and shared the details of the face-to-face public information presentations.

First post (March 28): 2,230 impressions, 119 engagements
Second post (March 30): 769 impressions, 51 engagements
Third post (April 3): 716 impressions, 11 engagements
Fourth post (April 4): 921 impressions, 30 engagements


Presentations
The City held two public information presentations at Horizon Stage on April 3.

The first presentation, held at 6 pm, had approximately 90 attendees. The second presentation, held at 7:30 p.m., had approximately 65 attendees.

Several other presentations were made to a variety of groups including the Spruce Grove Chamber of Commerce, the Acheson Business Associations, Spruce Grove Rotary Club, Spruce Grove Builders and Developers, City Centre Business Association and Spruce Grove Ringette Association. It is estimated these presentations reached approximately 200 people.

CityPulse
The summer issue of CityPulse had a two page feature on the proposed concept. The magazine was distributed at the beginning of June.

CityPulse is mailed to 12,350 households and made available for pick-up at a variety of locations within Spruce Grove including City Hall, Family and Community Services (FCSS), Border Paving Athletic Centre and the Spruce Grove Public Library. Welcome Wagon also distributes to those new to Spruce Grove who have booked a visit.

Advertising
The City placed advertisements on 88.1 the One and in the Grove Examiner. The advertisements announced the concept and encouraged people to attend the presentations and/or visit the City’s website to learn more.

Website feedback form and emails
The City received a total of 56 emails or web forms from the community providing feedback. Of the 56, one individual provided feedback in both email format and through the website form. Also, one individual called in and provided feedback to the Executive Assistant to the City Manager and this was logged in the feedback forms.

Of the forms and emails received, 33 supported the concept and 12 did not support it. The balance of the emails and feedback forms were either neutral or posed questions that cannot be addressed until further along in the process (such as more specifics about funding and partnerships, exact number of parking spots and how can contractors bids).
Implementation/Communication
As the concept proposal for SEC becomes more defined, additional communications and engagement activities should take place.
Impacts
n/a
Attachments
No file(s) attached.

City Council and Committee of the Whole agendas and minutes are posted on the City of Spruce Grove website for information purposes only. These agendas may be changed at the discretion of Council by the addition or deletion of items. Anyone reviewing the draft agenda should do so on the understanding that it is subject to change by Council.

All attachments are in PDF format, and require the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in for viewing.

Audio from the most recent City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings are available via podcast on the City of Spruce Grove website.



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