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City of Red Deer

Mayor Veer responds to BMO and RDC Donald School of Business leaving downtown core

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From the City of Red Deer

Mayor Tara Veer responds to downtown economic sustainability on behalf of City Council

Our community is facing unprecedented challenges, navigating the perfect storm of a global health crisis and an already unfavourable economic climate. BMO Bank of Montreal, a significant anchor in downtown Red Deer, has announced their intention to close their downtown and south Red Deer branches. The company will consolidate these local branches to a new branch in Bower Place. Following a briefing from Bank of Montreal officials, it is The City’s understanding that this is part of the planned change for the bank, and all other branches remain open in Red Deer.

This announcement closely follows the news that Red Deer College’s (RDC) Donald School of Business will move some student programming from the downtown campus to the main campus. RDC will continue to offer Continuing Education and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at their downtown location. I spoke with the RDC Board Chair and we discussed the changing model of RDC and the future of RDC in the downtown. RDC reiterated their commitment to the downtown campus and the fact that ESL and Continuing Education programs will continue to bring students to our downtown.

We know that downtowns are the heart of any city and that they play a vital role as our communities’ business, administrative, and cultural centres. City Council has prioritized work on the strategic goal of ensuring a strong, dynamic local economy and a revitalized downtown and have identified this in our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. As an example, earlier this year The City launched a new economic incentives program for the downtown and adopted other initiatives to strengthen our local economy. For additional information, please visit The City’s website at www.reddeer.ca and search downtown economic incentives and economic leader.

We remain committed to fostering a strong, diverse local economy, which includes a thriving downtown. We will continue to invest in and support businesses in the downtown and throughout our community, ultimately working to ensure long-term sustainability and viability and to support our community through these unprecedented times.Ct

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City of Red Deer

Recreation centres back to regular hours October 1 – Includes links to updated schedules

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From the City of Red Deer

City recreation centres to return to regular hours of operation

Starting October 1, the Collicutt Centre and G.H. Dawe Community Centre, will return to regular hours of operation.

In July, The City began a gradual, phased plan to re-open facilities and resume recreation and culture activities and programs, in line with the provincial health orders, restrictions and guidelines. With a better understanding of community demand and our new operating environment, we are able to return to regular hours of operation at the Collicutt Centre and the G.H. Dawe Community Centre.

Set to open September 14, hours at the Recreation Centre will be limited as we monitor and respond to demand. With the opening of the Recreation Centre, hours of operation at the Michener Aquatic Centre will also be modified to provide broad public access to aquatic amenities. Hours for specific facilities are available here.

“This is a significant step forward in our re-opening plans and we are excited to see that citizens and user groups are increasingly using our facilities,” said Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent. “While we remain focussed on ensuring the health and safety of both users and staff, we are looking forward to increasing access to our facilities, through the change in hours, increased services and our fall programming.”

Citizens can participate in programs and activities in two ways:

  • Activity Reservations – With no drop-in access or classes, all activities must be pre-booked. Everything from lane swimming to walking on the track requires an Activity Reservation – this means customers need to plan ahead and sign up in advance before arriving at a recreation facility. For more information and to pre-book, visit reddeer.ca/reserve. Reservations are available 14 days in advance.
  • Fall programming – Registration for fall programs is open. These are programs that recur for a set period of time (e.g., swimming lessons). Create a custom online Activity Guide to find and register for programs.

Amenities and facilities continue to open. As previously announced, the Recreation Centre will open September 14 for registered programs, facility rentals and Activity Reservation. Also on September 14, fitness areas at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre will be available for use, through Activity Reservations.

Also effective October 1, the temporary discount for facility passes and admission will no longer be available. In early July, entrance fees were temporarily reduced to better reflect reduced hours of operation, service and program offerings.

“As we planned our gradual re-opening of amenities, we knew program and services would initially be limited, which is why we offered a temporary discount,” said McKee. “As we continue to increase our service levels, we also need to return to regular admission rates to ensure sustainability.”

The existing Activity Reservation Pass will not be available for purchase as of October 1. Anyone who purchases an Activity Reservation Pass in September will be offered a prorated credit as of October 1 toward the purchase of a new pass. More information about facility admission rates and passes is available here.

Visitors to recreation facilities are asked to wear a mask when a distance of two metres from others cannot be maintained. Mask wearing during intense, physical activity is not recommended.

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City of Red Deer

Fire destroys downtown transitional housing building

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Photos from Community Crime Watch Facebook Page.  Submitted by Tom TJ, Visual Storyteller

From the City of Red Deer Emergency Services

Downtown residential fire

Red Deer Emergency Services crews remain on the scene of a structure fire at a transitional housing building at 5129-50 avenue. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The Sylvan Lake Fire Department provided mutual aid with a specialized aerial ladder truck.

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.

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september, 2020

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