Members of Lethbridge City Council voted 5-4 against a motion to look into the feasibility and cost of constructing an iron fence around Galt Gardens.
Mayor Blaine Hyggen and councillor John Middleton-Hope brought forward the motion on Tuesday.
Middleton-Hope voted in favour citing increased safety needs of Lethbridge residents.
“By erecting a wrought iron fence around the park we are able to better control use of the park and reduce the risk of vandalism, loitering and other criminal activities that have become so prevalent. The fence will act as a physical barrier providing a sense of security for park visitors, especially families and children who will be able to enjoy many activities in a safe and relaxing environment. Furthermore, it will discourage encampments, drug use and biohazardous debris, returning the park to the citizens of Lethbridge that perhaps more accurately reflect the original intent of the Galt family who over 100 years ago donated more than nine acres as park land in the heart of this city.”
Councillor Belinda Crowson voted against the motion and explained why she is not in favour of the idea of erecting a fence around Galt Gardens.
“There’s a division within our community. When you put fences up and fences are incredibly powerful imagery, they’re incredibly powerful symbols and then of course, there is the real fences as well and I cannot in any way vote for this. I know we have a lot of work to do in our community. I want to find the way to help our residents as much as anyone else but the fence is not, to me the answer. And even looking into a fence will create a lot of concerns in our communities.”