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City of Red Deer

Hazlett Lake may be the greatest opportunity lost for the city of Red Deer

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Hazlett Lake

This opinion piece was submitted by Garfield Marks.

In cities around the world, man made lakes have been an economic diversification, city saviour, a tourist destination, and/or heat issue solution. Let us look at examples I found on google.

In 2000, when Jasmin Imamović became mayor of Tuzla, it was a dilapidated, swampy mining settlement short on prospects. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s third-largest city had suffered badly in the Bosnian war, and from recessions, low wages and exodus of people since. Solution was a man made lake.
Tuzla’s economy has also changed massively. The tourism and service industries are now its biggest sectors – a sharp change of direction for a city previously known for its coal plants and smoke-filled skies.
Other cities are also trying to boost their profile by artificially creating “natural” tourist attractions. The UAE’s Palm Jumeirah and The World, some of the world’s largest artificial islands, are an extreme example; a rather more considered effort is Barcelona’s beach at Barceloneta, created as part of the city’s facelift for the 1992 Olympic Games.
The beach, the Catalan capital’s largest, is credited with catapulting Barcelona into the top ranks of European travel destinations: the yearly number of visitors staying in hotels in the city rose from 1.7 million in 1990 to 8.9 million in 2017.
Amsterdam has also tried the fake beach approach, incorporating housing.
The Serpentine (also known as the Serpentine River) is a 40-acre (16 ha) recreational lake in Hyde Park, London, England was a venue for the men’s and women’s triathlon and marathon swimming events in the London 2012 Olympics
In Alberta; Echo Dale, the largest of Medicine Hat’s parks, is located a short distance west of .Medicine Hat… The park has two man-made lakes:
Henderson Lake Park is one of Lethbridge’s premier parks featuring a 24 hectare man made lake, mature trees and groves, gardens, picnic shelters, and recreational properties.

Red Deer has Hazlett Lake in a prime spot by Hwy 2, great for tourism, 100 acres for recreational activities, 2 miles of shoreline for beaches, locate the Aquatic Centre there and you would have a premier tourist destination and residents could have a staycation..
We would not have to spend millions building a man made lake, we have the real thing.

 

SO:

Why did the city after discussing with a few members of the Red Deer Naturalists think that leaving such an opportunity  dormant, was a good economical idea?  Why not make some beaches? Why not develop this tourist attraction possibility? Incorporate the new Aquatic Centre.Why just build housing?
While other cities are investing millions in building artificial lakes, we are building homes to hide our very own natural lake.
A lot of words have been written about our state of affairs in Red Deer. The fall-out from a depressed economy, being in a bust portion of a boom-bust cycle. Talk of diversifying our economy away from our continued reliance on the energy sector.  Words are not actions, and it is worrisome. Is it fear or lack of vision that impedes us from following up on the words?
No matter how we dress it up, Red Deer is stagnant with growth at about 1% over 3 years, after population loss. Blame the economy, the stars or any number of reasons but it could have been different. Lethbridge is now more populated than Red Deer and Lethbridge is growing in this economy. Lethbridge invested and is still investing in areas appealing to young families including recreational facilities. Lethbridge has a history of investing in facilities to encourage growth, education and tourism. They turned a man made slough into Henderson Lake Park and has never looked back.
Red Deer has a greater opportunity in having a real natural lake. Will Red Deer build a park? NO, they will  plan on houses, and apartment buildings that may never get built, unless we go into a boom portion of the boom-bust cycle. This is the simplistic, easiest and safest plan with a low return on investment. It ignores the high-profile location and possibilities of the lake, but it has less risk. A wall of residences will be built to hide the lake from Hwy 2.
Remember, Hazlett Lake is a natural lake that covers a surface area of 0.45 km2 (0.17 mi2), has an average depth of 3 meters (10 feet). Hazlett Lake has a total shore line of 4 kilometers (2 miles).  It is 108.8 acres in size. Located in the north-west sector of Red Deer.

Red Deer has seen mass exodus of population over the years before seeing a very modest growth of about 1% over 3 years. The handling of Hazlett Lake or lack of vision for Hazlett Lake may be an example. How many Red Deer residents drive to Sylvan Lake and pay $10 parking to sit and swim in a lake? We have a lake but we wouldn’t think of building a beach anywhere along the 2 mile coastline. Let Red Deer residents drive to Sylvan Lake and spend their money there.
Lethbridge took a man-made slough and created Henderson Lake Park, a highly regarded tourist attraction. We will put a trail around our lake. Red Deer residents can go to Sylvan Lake to go to a beach.
We have several planned neighbourhoods that are sitting undeveloped or unfilled so this residential development they are proposing for Hazlett Lake, may never get built. What is the draw? We are creating new neighbourhoods, faster than we are growing, why?
Why not look at how we can invite growth to fill the empty lots we have now? Every town and city has lots for sale but how many have a lake, a natural lake with 4 kms. of shoreline?
We have an opportunity here with Hazlett Lake to create something, a destination, an attraction, will we let it slip through our fingers? Apparently it may be too late. Thanks city hall.

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Business News

Local business community frustrated with the economy, taxes and red tape

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Chamber survey shows frustration with economy, taxes, and regulations

On September 6th, the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce published a survey asking about the state of business conditions in Central Alberta. Respondents were asked how their business is affected by government policy, crime, and the economy. Also included were questions regarding management of the city, and future expectations for economic growth.

Chamber CEO Rick More commented on the results, “we’re grateful to all those that took the time to complete the survey and share their insights. These results strongly verify what we’ve suspected and heard anecdotally from the business community. While the economy is clearly the largest impediment to business growth, the City of Red Deer must remain focused on allowing our businesses to be competitive and grow. We’ll continue to work with Council and the City Manager on solutions that allow the city to utilize the levers it has available to alleviate the financial and regulatory strain affecting the success of our business community and our ability to retain and attract new businesses.”

The overall state of the economy was identified as having the largest impact on businesses growth followed closely by red tape and regulations, taxation, and crime. Compared to one year ago, 74% said business conditions in Red Deer have gotten worse and looking ahead a year, only 15% are expecting business conditions to improve with 35% expecting them to remain about the same and 40% think they’ll get worse. Finally, when asked whether they expect their own business over the next 12 months 21% expect to grow, 58% think it’ll stay about the same and 20% think their business will contract.

The results strongly demonstrated frustrations with the cost and regulatory burden of doing business. 69% of respondents think businesses outside the City of Red Deer have a competitive advantage due to less regulatory burden and red tape and just 26% think that business permits are approved by the city in a timely fashion. On the topic of budgeting and taxation, 26% felt businesses within the city get good value for the property taxes they pay and 27% approve of how the city manages it’s budget.

For a full breakdown of survey results, see the infographic here.

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The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan, collaborative leader in building a vibrant community and fosters an environment where businesses can lead, be innovative, sustainable, and grow. Learn more about the Chamber here.

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City of Red Deer

Apply for a City Committee and make a difference in Red Deer

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City Hall

From The City of Red Deer

One week left to apply for Council committees

Interested applicants only have one week left to apply for positions on local boards, committees and commissions.

Community members are encouraged to submit their application(s) for an open position on one of many council committees. Applications are currently being accepted and members are needed for the following boards, committees, and commissions:

o Community Housing Advisory Board
o Intermunicipal Subdivision & Development Appeal Board
o Library Board
o Mayor’s Recognition Awards Committee
o Municipal Planning Commission
o Public Art Commission
o Red Deer & District Family and Community Support Services Board
o Red Deer Appeal & Review Board/Red Deer Subdivision & Development Appeal Board

(joint appointment)
o Red Deer Regional Airport Board
o River Bend Golf & Recreation Society Board

Each volunteer position has a different level of commitment and terms vary in length. Detailed information for each board, committee, and commission is available online at reddeer.ca/committees.

Those interested in joining a board, committee or commission are invited to complete the required application form and submit it to Legislative Services no later than September 30, 2019, by 9 a.m.

Applications can be submitted in person, by fax to 403-346-6195, or by email to legislativeservices@reddeer.ca.

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october, 2019

wed16oct6:00 pm11:00 pmBusiness of the Year Awards - Red Deer Chamber of Commerce6:00 pm - 11:00 pm Red Deer College

thu17oct6:30 pm8:30 pmACRYLIC POUR ART CLASSES6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

fri18oct7:00 pmLip Sync Battle7:00 pm MT Bo's Bar & Grill, 2310 50 Ave Event Organized By: The Outreach Centre

sat19oct9:00 am4:00 pmCoats 4 Kids & Charity Checkstop9:00 am - 4:00 pm Taylor Drive Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Page

sat19oct10:00 am12:00 pmRed Deer River Naturalists Bird Focus Group Walk10:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Kerry Wood Nature Centre, 6300 45 Ave Event Organized By: Red Deer River Naturalists

sat26oct10:00 am12:00 pmRed Deer River Naturalists Bird Focus Group Walk10:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Maskepetoon Park Event Organized By: Red Deer River Naturalists

tue29oct(oct 29)1:00 amsun03nov(nov 3)1:00 amCanadian Finals Rodeo1:00 am - (november 3) 1:00 am Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

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