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LETHBRIDGE –

Lethbridge city council narrowly voted down a resolution to examine the cost and logistics of erecting an iron rod fence around Galt Gardens by a margin of 5-4.

If the proposal had eventually gone ahead, the park would have been closed during the evenings to deter negative activities such as vandalism and drug use.

The resolution was brought forward by Mayor Blaine Hyggen and Councillor John Middleton-Hope.

Lethbridge city council narrowly voted down a resolution to examine the cost and logistics of erecting an iron rod fence around Galt Gardens by a margin of 5-4.

Hyggen believed there was no harm in exploring the logistics of fencing Galt Gardens and comparing it to what other cities have done.

“It doesn’t speak to whether we’re going to support it in the fall when the information comes back because we never know what that’s going to look like. But I wanted to be able to make sure that it went out to the community and that we were able to get some information back that we’ve been looking for,” he said.

Hyggen also thought the process could have come back with a different but better idea on how to deal with social issues in Galt Gardens.

Lethbridge city council narrowly voted down a resolution to examine the cost and logistics of erecting an iron rod fence around Galt Gardens by a margin of 5-4.

The proposal was not without its critics.

A crowd of roughly 100 people gathered outside city hall Tuesday to protest the proposal.

Protesters believed fencing the park would serve only to limit accessibility while not addressing social issues that have led some to deem the park unsafe.

“Housing, that’s what we need. The government, our municipal government, needs to be taking this forward provincially and federally to get more funding. And we also need to be spending the money in our city wisely,” said Lori Hatfield with the Lethbridge chapter of Moms Stop the Harm.

Lethbridge city council narrowly voted down a resolution to examine the cost and logistics of erecting an iron rod fence around Galt Gardens by a margin of 5-4.

The downtown business community and nearby businesses were split on the proposal according to the Downtown Lethbridge BRZ.

“Like all of the potential solutions to some of the social issues we’re experiencing here and across North America, there are obviously pros and cons. … So if there were a magic bullet, we would have shot it a long time ago and there just isn’t,” said Sarah Amies, executive director of the BRZ.

Councillors who voted against the resolution expressed concerns over accessibility, potential damage to tree roots in the park and how fencing a public space would be perceived.

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