City of Red Deer
Mayor Johnston responds to Provincial announcement about transition of OPS operations to AHS run mobile site
The Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) has been operated by Turning Point since October 2018 when it opened its doors as a temporary health service. At this time, the Province of Alberta will begin transition of the current operations from a privately operated site to a provincially run mobile service.
On behalf of Red Deer City Council, I want to assure our citizens that we remain committed to working with the Province of Alberta to build Red Deer as a recovery community.
We appreciate the leadership of the Province of Alberta in this area. We thank Turning Point for their years of service and the lives saved over the past several years. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Red Deerians is a top priority, and we are confident this new AHS-Operated mobile site will continue to meet the needs of our residents.
I also want to extend a formal apology to Turning Point and the service providers in our community who learned about the transition after overhearing one of our City Council members talking with a provincial colleague about it in the community. We know this is unacceptable, we apologize.
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.
City of Red Deer
G.H. Dawe expansion project complete
- Two NHL-sized arenas;
- Fitness and programming spaces including state-of-the art fitness equipment, two group fitness studios and a 230-metre fitness track; and
- Multiple public art installations.
Accessing the recreation facility is also more convenient with the outdoor upgrades which include the addition of parking and an entrance on the north side of the building, and site access off 67 Street. The G.H. Dawe Community Centre will be open with new extended operational hours, exciting new programs and adjusted admission fees Monday, March 20.
The $42 million expansion project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program ($15.1 million), the Government of Alberta through Municipal Sustainability Initiatives ($12.6 million), and the City of Red Deer’s 2020, 2021 and 2022 capital budgets ($14.2 million).
For more information on the G.H. Dawe Community Centre expansion project, please visit www.reddeer.ca/Dawe.
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