The Smoky River Agricultural Society (SRAS) invited Paul Conrad of Paul Conrad and Associates to give an introductory presentation on a “Needs Assessment and Facility Development Strategy”, onMarch 15 at the Elks Hall in McLennan.
The reason that SRAS is looking at undertaking a needs assessment and facility development strategy is that the society is considering the development of the Agricultural Grounds in Donnelly andwishes to have its proverbial ducks in a row before proceeding.
Conrad and Associates, based in Spruce Grove, has completed some recent projects in Bezanson, Neutral Hills,Marwayne, a facility redevelopment and expansion in Chestermere Alberta, and a fire services needs assessment and facility development strategy for the Municipal District of Greenview.
Outlining the various steps involved when approaching facility development projects, Conrad said that the model his firm uses is no less than 7 and no more than 20 years in terms of preparing a development strategy. He outlined the purpose of the Needs Assessment as measuring the correlation of facility infrastructure to present needs and future demand and deemed cost effectiveness and sustainability as the fundamental criteria.
In the process of the needs assessment it is important to identify primary values, organizational philosophy, priorities, and preferences in light of engaging stakeholders.
Other aspects of the process outlined in a slide show presentation were investigating current environmental conditions, future opportunities and the condition of facility infrastructure relative to present demands and future objectives. Facility and site reviews and timeline were other matter on which he elaborated.
While many interested parties attended the presentation, the attendance fell short of an anticipated 50 people. Among those who did attend were the mayors of the town of McLennan and the village of Girouxville and Gary Braithwaite president of the Smoky River Agricultural Society.
The Agricultural Society has a meeting scheduled for Thursday April 1, at which time the board will discuss the information garnered from Paul Conrad’s presentation, decide on the viability of the venture and ultimately vote on how to proceed regarding the Donnelly Agricultural Ground development project.