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City of Red Deer

Buildings to be demolished. City will take over Michener Centre North lands

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From The City of Red Deer

City and Province work together to determine the future of Michener Lands

The City of Red Deer has been working closely with the Provincial Government regarding the future of the Michener north lands. In August, The City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Alberta to provide for shared planning and consultation on the future land uses, including existing buildings and infrastructure on the Michener North lands.

After reviewing options and extensive studies on the land, the profound history of the area, the current state of the buildings on site, and the sensitive ecology of the escarpment and wetlands, the Government of Alberta will proceed with the demolition of the remaining Michener North buildings later this year and finalizing The City’s purchase to protect these public lands as a community asset.

“Alberta’s Government is committed to managing the Province’s buildings and facilities in a cost-effective way that best serves Albertans. The demolition of the buildings and reclamation of this provincial surplus site will put The City of Red Deer in the best position to make use of the area,” said Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. “Alberta Infrastructure and The City of Red Deer have proven that we can find a solution to benefit all Albertans by working together towards a sale agreement of the Michener North lands.”

The City intends to move forward with the acquisition of the Michener North lands, following demolition and reclamation by the Province, to ensure that these public lands remain public. There is 132.2 acres of land in the area, which would serve as a future Red Deer destination legacy.

“As the Province decides on the future of the existing buildings and site, opportunity exists for The City to mark a significant piece of Red Deer’s history and protect these impeccable public lands for Red Deerians for generations to come,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “The land provides opportunity to commemorate the past, while providing for future public use opportunities our citizens. The Michener lands are public, and should remain a public asset.”

The Michener North lands have deep roots in Red Deer’s history, economy, park space, and natural areas. The centralized location provides a place to reflect history, access the Waskasoo trail system, experience wildlife and enjoy open outdoor space year round.

“After significant heritage assessment and thorough cost analysis, it is evident that it is cost prohibitive to preserve or repurpose any of the buildings. We will, however, find ways to ensure meaningful site commemoration to honour the history of the people who lived there,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

The City also recently purchased the J.J. Gaetz House and the escarpment. Originally a private residence, the house became part of the Michener Centre in 1939 and was renovated for Michener Centre use. The J.J. Gaetz House is currently a Municipal Designated Heritage Site under the Historic Resources Act. This site could potentially offer a future home for an interpretive visual history of the lands.

 

 

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City of Red Deer

Face coverings now mandatory in Red Deer for all indoor public spaces and pubic vehicles

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City Hall

From the City of Red Deer

City Council passes temporary mandatory face covering bylaw in Red Deer

Face coverings are temporarily mandatory in Red Deer after City Council approved a bylaw today, mandating face coverings for indoor public places and public vehicles.

The bylaw will officially come into effect on November 30, 2020; however, The City strongly encourages citizens to wear a face covering in accordance with the bylaw starting today.

The decision to proceed with a short-term face covering bylaw came after in-depth discussions on the topic over the past few weeks and during last week’s Special City Council Meeting. During this meeting, a number of amendments were considered by City Council, triggering the need for the third reading at today’s regular City Council meeting.

“Mandating temporary face coverings in Red Deer is a short-term measure to be responsive to the evolving pandemic in Red Deer and across the province. We know this is a divisive issue in our community, and although the Province has yet to mandate masks across Alberta, City Council believes this temporary measure is critical if we want local case numbers and hospitalization to remain flat,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Through this bylaw, we are putting into action, the recommendations of health officials because the safety, health and wellbeing of all citizens continues to be our number one priority.”

At this time, the bylaw has a sunset clause of March 1, 2021, and will expire on this date.

The bylaw mandates all citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places and public vehicles with the exceptions noted in the bylaw. This includes any place, whether publicly or privately owned, where members of the public have access as of right or by implied invitation.

The bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities. It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage.

The fine for not wearing a face covering in a public place is $50.

“This decision is about protecting public health and safety, protecting our health care system, and doing whatever we can to help stabilize the local economy and prevent potential future lockdowns that could result in further business impacts and closures,” said Mayor Veer. “We are all feeling the pressures of COVID-19; citizens, businesses and Albertans alike are significantly affected. The City will continue to do everything we can to support our local citizens and businesses by putting measures in place that could minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

A mandatory face covering bylaw is just one of the municipal measures being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Red Deer. The City also continues to adapt its many operations to be responsive to the changing circumstances, increase communication with citizens and businesses and to continue to seek information and support through the Province of Alberta.

Red Deer is now one of approximately nineteen other Alberta municipalities, including Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge, to have a mandatory face covering bylaw in place.

For more information about the new bylaw and other COVID-19 restrictions, please read our Face Coverings in Public Places (Mandatory Mask) Bylaw FAQ (pdf)  or visit www.reddeer.ca.

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City of Red Deer

Tour the newly renovated Westerner Park Centrium

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From the City of Red Deer and Westerner Park

Preview of renovations almost complete ahead of Team Canada training at Westerner Park Centrium

In 2019, Red Deer City Council approved a $3 million capital request from Westerner Park’s Exhibition Association, which operates the Centrium, as part of its 2020 capital budget to help with renovations needed at the facility.

The City of Red Deer approved $3 million toward a revitalization project that would improve the 1991- era arena’s dressing rooms, concourse and seating.

At the time of budget approval, Tara Lodewyk, General Manager of Planning and Protective Services said “Westerner Park is a huge economic driver in the region. We want it to keep attracting more events, as Red Deer businesses and citizens’ benefit whenever the Centrium brings in various sport, business and cultural attractions.”

Renovations, which are nearing completion, include updating dressing rooms, adding additional railing to the outer edge of the concourse, new modernized LED score clock and signage, and one of the biggest projects, replacing the 30-year-old spectator seats to meet modern facility standards. Westerner Park officials had aimed to complete renovations before hockey players started arriving for the World Junior Championship that were set to run Dec. 26, 2020, to Jan. 5, 2021, which has since been deferred to 2021/2022. Construction during the pandemic occurred more efficiently due to no events being held in the facility, while renovations also provided local economic stimulus by employing local trades.

On September 17, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that all games for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be played in Edmonton, instead of Red Deer, due to COVID- 19 restrictions, without fans in attendance, but will return to Edmonton and Red Deer in 2021.

However, Red Deer is hosting Canada’s best under 20 hockey players ahead of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Forty-seven players will attend a training camp at the Centrium at Westerner Park from November 16 until December 13. The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of sports all-stars, before the team enters the bubble in Edmonton. The Red Deer camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and the media.

“Not being able to host World Juniors this year was a significant disappointment for many Red Deerians who were anticipating welcoming the international hockey community back to our city,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “I know Red Deer will be ready to welcome the world to our community in 2021/2022, and will actively continue our preparations for this incredible opportunity for our city. This year, we are glad to be able to participate in preparation for the World Juniors by hosting a selection camp bubble at the Centrium.”

“The renovations and upgrades will enhance guest experience at Westerner Park and ensure the comfort and safety for everyone that attends events in the Centrium,” said Mike Olesen, Westerner Park CEO. “The upgrades will also create more interest from national and international events to consider Red Deer and Westerner Park for upcoming events.”

“We’re incredibly excited for hockey fans to experience the bold changes taking place inside our home, the Centrium,” said Merrick Sutter, Sr. Vice President, Red Deer Rebels. “The much needed upgrades provide a fresh, clean look for all guests and events, and further cements the facility as a premiere destination for major events and junior hockey.”

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