Mayor Don Scott is reminding residents to hold their criticisms on Keyano College’s approved Art Gallery.
Keyano announced dates for an open house on the gallery last month, following Wood Buffalo council’s approval of the $16.8 million project.
The college is now looking for feedback and input as to how they can create the best art experience they can provide.
Speaking on Fort McMurray Matters last week, Scott says despite the price tag, the costs of building this project is a lot less than residents anticipate.
“Everybody assumes that residents who live here pay most of the bills for things such as art galleries or anything else. It’s actually industry I would say that is most of the tax base for the region. They are about 95 per cent. So, for every dollar, .95 cents of that come from industry.”
Scott adds there is a misconception that the region is facing difficult financial circumstances.
“We are in excellent financial shape, but we have a lot to do because we have to meet the 5:1 tax ratio. So, if you’re ever going to do a project that’s important to a community and coming from the east myself, where there are lots of art galleries – this is the time to do it.”
The college says they are seeking as much public feedback on the design for the expansion as possible.
The open house will have subject matter experts on hand to answer questions and you can examine all the proposed plans.
Scott who has been in favour of the gallery noted other smaller communities that have similar amenities like Fredericton, New Brunswick.
He feels the approval is more about bringing life back into the region.
“We need to have all the amenities in this community that will attract people to want to live here. For every young person who finds their way onto a basketball or badminton court, there is also a young person who finds their way by being involved with the arts or an arts program.”
A public survey will also be provided to those in attendance.
The sessions take place on January 30 at the Keyano Theatre from 4-7 p.m.