Monday, Red Deer City Council approved Michener North lands as the site for a future multi-use aquatic facility in Red Deer.
In December, Council directed administration to consider two possible locations for the multi-use aquatic facility: Michener North lands and Rotary Recreation Park. In addition to an in-depth evaluation of both sites, several factors were considered in selecting Michener North lands:
- The City is purchasing the Michener North lands from the Province, with funds approved in the 2021 Capital Budget.
- Solidifying this location allows the multi-use aquatic facility to be included in the visioning for Michener North. This visioning will help develop ideas around what this site could for the community and will begin in early 2022.
- The multi-use aquatic facility serves as an anchor to this future major park node.
Scoping, design and cost were also determined in December as part of Phase 1 of this project. At this time, the facility includes a 53M x 25M pool with 10 lanes, ranging in depth from 2.5M to 3.8M with diving platforms at the deep end and two 1.5M movable bulkheads. This competition pool is compliant with FINA standards and Swim Alberta recommendations. The facility also includes a 25M x 20.6M pool with eight lanes, ranging in depth from 1.2M to 2.2M to accommodate swim competitions, warm up for aquatic sport competitions, and floor based depths serving local community programming needs. Two hot tubs, steam and sauna amenities, universal change rooms, spectator seating for up to 750 people, storage, sport group dryland training area, and staff supports are accounted for in the design.
The facility construction costs are estimated at $51,600,000, and by selecting Michener, The City is in a better position to quantify the variable site development costs as plans are solidified to place the item in the capital plan.
We now know that Michener North lands will be used for municipal purposes and become a major park node for community use,” said Sarah Tittemore, Community Services General Manager. “Major park nodes need indoor facilities to serve the needs of park users, and deciding on the multi-use aquatic facility at this site allows the visioning for the Michener North lands to include this anchor and the community. We look forward to working with the community to enrich the vision through planned future consultation.”
City Council decides to close Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site
City Council requests the Province of Alberta make changes to OPS in Red Deer
City Council made decisions (Friday) related to Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS), requesting the Government of Alberta (GOA):
- formalize an orderly transition of the existing OPS out of Red Deer by the end of 2025;
- provide in its place greater harm reducing options within our community that focus on health, wellness, and recovery, including more detox capacity, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), recovery coaches, counsellors, and culturally appropriate health and wellness supports, etc.;
- provide dedicated grant funding to provide a continuous police presence/enforcement in the immediate vicinity of the OPS and temporary shelter, until the crime and social disorder impacts associated with these provincial services are better mitigated for the safety and security of our public;
- substantially increase front-line supports for mental health and addictions within our community/region to better address the root causes leading to drug and alcohol addictions.
These decisions stem from a Notice of Motion put forward by Councillor Higham on December 18, 2023. After being read into the record on January 22, 2024, a non-statutory public hearing was scheduled for yesterday, February 15, 2024. Approximately 40 members of the public attended the non-statutory public hearing, with approximately 30 individuals speaking to the Notice of Motion, sharing their thoughts on the issue.
After hearing from the public yesterday, City Council debated the motion today, with Mayor Ken Johnston now having City Council direction to take the issue forward to the province and proceed with advocacy efforts.
“The public hearing and the debate of this motion were harrowing and emotional experiences for everyone. Each of us have been touched in some way by addiction; we heard that very clearly, and I am no exception. We heard heartfelt testimony from many members of our community, citizens, some who use the OPS, some who are service providers in the community, business owners, doctors, family members that have lost loves ones, and more,” said Mayor Johnston. “Council approached this most sensitive of issues with open minds, open ears, and open hearts. We are trying to improve lives for those suffering from addiction. This is a complex challenge, as these are areas where municipalities do not have jurisdiction. What we know is that Red Deer needs robust support from the provincial government for people with addictions; we need support for our community that is grappling with the fallout of addictions; and we need that support in the most immediate way.”
Mayor Johnston added, “Following this meeting, I will reach out to the Ministry of Addictions and Mental Health to book meetings where we can discuss how to move forward in the best interest of our city.”
Currently the OPS is located 5246 53 Avenue in downtown Red Deer.
City Council approves E-scooters permanently after 3 year pilot
E-Scooter Pilot Program update
- Council approved E-scooters as a permanent transportation option in Red Deer, following a three-season pilot program that ended in October. No changes to the program were proposed, as bylaw amendments to the Business Licence Bylaw and Traffic Bylaw were completed as part of the pilot program.
- Benefits to allowing E-scooter companies to operate in Red Deer include alignment with City of Red Deer strategies such as the Multimodal Transportation Plan and all three focus areas of City Council’s current Strategic Plan – Thriving City, Community Health and Wellbeing, and Engaged and Connected City.
- In 2023, 100,909 rides were taken on E-scooters. The average distance traveled per ride was 3.35 km and the average ride time was 18.2 minutes. Riders are required to be a minimum of 16 years old and are advised to wear a helmet.
- The 2024 E-scooter season begins March 15. Learn more: reddeer.ca/escooters
Similar to car and bike sharing technology, shared e-scooters will be GPS-enabled and can be rented using each company’s smartphone app. A shared e-scooter can be parked in a designated drop zone that is not impeding pedestrian traffic. It is then available for the next customer, who will be able to locate it and begin the rental using an application on their phone.
To ride an e-scooter in Red Deer you must be 16 years of age or older. A child or any other person cannot be a passenger on a shared e-scooter. They are intended for one rider.
Helmets are not required, but are strongly encouraged.
The max speed limit is 20 km per hour with some higher traffic areas reduced to 5-10 km per hour.
E-Scooters can be parked on city sidewalks, in City parks and adjacent pathways, subject to all Federal, Provincial and City Legislation. All parked e-scooters must remain in an upright position with all wheels in contact with the ground.
E-Scooters will be parked in a Furniture Zone and must not be parked in a way that does not obstruct or interfere with the Sidewalk Zone or Edge Zone at any time.
In the absence of a Furniture Zone, e-scooters must not be parked in a way that impedes pedestrians moving through the Sidewalk Zone to access any buildings. E-scooters must be parked next to the edge zone leaving at least 2.0 metres of sidewalk zone unobstructed for pedestrian movements. E-scooters must not be parked where these minimum distance requirements cannot be met, and parked in the upright, standing position, with all wheels in contact with the ground.
- Pedestrians first– Always yield to, and be mindful of people walking on sidewalks.
- Be considerate– Use the bell to alert others when passing on the sidewalk or pathway.
- Rider safety rules – Shared e-scooters are available to riders aged 16+. Helmets are encouraged but not required. Maximum speed limit is 20 km / hr. Only one rider per e-scooter is allowed.
- Park responsibly– Park in a secure, upright position in designated areas, such as furniture zones of sidewalks, public bike racks and other marked parking zones. On sidewalks without furniture zones, give at least two meters of clearance for accessibility.
- Right and report– If you see a shared e-scooter toppled over or parked improperly, help out by righting the shared e-scooter or reporting the issue. Contact info for each company is provided on each shared e-scooter.
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