City of Red Deer
Fire destroys downtown transitional housing building
Photos from Community Crime Watch Facebook Page. Submitted by Tom TJ, Visual Storyteller
From the City of Red Deer Emergency Services
Downtown residential fire
The fire displaced an estimated 20 residents. The residents were shuttled to a temporary reception centre at G.H. Dawe Community Centre and were put up at a local hotel overnight.
Due to fire and water damage, the building was destroyed and will be torn down. Investigators will remain on scene overnight.
City of Red Deer
City of Red Deer puts out call to private owners interested in selling or leasing property for integrated homeless shelter
Call for privately owned properties for consideration during shelter site selection process
Administration will assess the privately-owned properties submitted, sites that are currently on the market, and municipally or provincially owned properties using Council’s criteria:
- Ability to acquire site: Acquiring the optimum site can be done in a timely manner. Acquisition options and costs are important considerations.
- Adequate size: The size of the site considers the potential need to adjust service delivery at any given time. It will accommodate proposed integrated amenities and services. It considers the land size needed to accommodate outdoor gathering spaces and activities. The site already has a building or can accommodate a building that meets the Province’s minimum requirement of 10,000 square feet.
- Broad community impact: The site aligns with The City’s vision for the community. Community impact includes considerations such as, impacts on economic and business development, and municipal operations. It includes potential reputational impacts and financial impacts (both capital and operating). It also includes impacts to those accessing shelter services in our community. The site considers impacts to our community as a whole, including health, and safety for all in our valued places and spaces that are enjoyed by our citizens.
- Impacts to surrounding area: Impacts to businesses, residences, parks, trails, and schools are a priority consideration in selecting site. The city’s reputation is considered. A preferred site can accommodate and foster development of a safe, secure shelter.
- Access to services & supports: Safety and basic needs for all is a priority. Regularly utilized services and supports that would not be co-located are taken into consideration. Sites where co-located services can operationalize are preferred.
Once the technical assessments are complete, administration will present options to Council for consideration to recommend to the province.
If you are a property owner and would like to submit a site for consideration, please fill out and submit the online form here.
For information on the future shelter site selection process, please visit www.reddeer.ca/shelter.
Back on February 3, City Council provided a “community update” on the status of 2 properties which were thoroughly vetted but failed in the end to get the go ahead. Here is video from that announcement and the following q and a with media.
City of Red Deer
City extends new $1 million line of credit to Westerner Exposition and calls for a 15 year Master Plan
City remains committed to supporting the financial sustainability of Westerner Exposition Association
- In 2023, begin the development of a Master Plan for the Westerner, which is expected to cost $100,000. The recommendation is that this cost be equally split between The City and WEA. The Master Plan, recommended in the RFA, is a 15-year vision that will include land use, access and multi-modal transportation, building design principles and site servicing.
- Support short-term cash flow for the Westerner by providing a $1 million line of credit for WEA to cover expenses prior to realizing event revenue. This contingency loan is seen as emergency funds, with an expectation for it to be paid back once revenue is realized and only used after their current line of credit. At today’s meeting, Council approved first reading of the borrowing bylaw to accommodate this.
- Amend the repayment formula for the $19 million Exhibition Hall loan agreement for five years to allow time for WEA to retain sufficient cash to meet current obligations, improve cash flow and build their Major Maintenance Reserve. Administration projects that while WEA would not make a loan payment until the fifth year, there is no impact to The City’s budget or to the 30-year loan payment deadline.
- Amend the current RFA to have the City Manager approve all expenditures from WEA’s Major Maintenance Reserve.
“This decision made by City Council is important as it is a representation of Westerner Park moving forward. We appreciate the leadership that Council has shown in recognizing our work to recover, and by putting their trust in our promising future. This support gives our Non-Profit Agricultural Society the security we need to thrive for many years to come, to continue to be the hub for major events in Central Alberta.” – Mike Olesen, CEO Westerner Park
“City Council remains committed to seeing the Westerner through these tough economic times, with the ultimate goal of creating financial and operating stability for Westerner Park ensuring we can continue to attract large events and grow as a City and region. While these are difficult decisions for The City, we are confident in the Westerner and the positive and vital role it serves in our community life, economic development, and its integral place in The City’s Major Event Strategy and Destination Development Framework. Our region and our province benefit from the influential role that the Westerner has, in bringing events to this province.” – Mayor Ken Johnston, The City of Red Deer
Funds approved today to support WEA do not impact The City’s budget, as dollars were earmarked during the 2023-2024 multi-year budget process. The approved recommendations look to balance the financial needs of WEA to regain solid financial footing, while also protecting The City’s investment should financial recovery not occur.
For more information on the support The City provides to WEA, visit www.reddeer.ca/westerner.
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