From the City of Red Deer
Molly Banister Drive extension to remain in plans
On September 10, Council gave first reading to a report regarding the future of Molly Banister Drive extension. The administrative report recommended removal of the protected alignment from the development plans, meaning the roadway would come out of the plans, and development of the area could continue without holding space for this road to be developed at some point in the future.
Tonight, Council heard from 31 people who spoke either for or against the protection of the road alignment at a public hearing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, residents voiced their opinions either at an offsite location via video to Council, or over the phone.
Following the public hearing, and consideration of the written statements received, Council began deliberations in consideration of second and third reading of the amendment.
Currently, The City’s statutory plans show the protected alignment as a four lane undivided arterial road, similar to 22 Street between 30 Avenue and 40 Avenue, bisecting Piper Creek. Tonight, Council voted against removing the protected alignment, which keeps this potential road as an option to accommodate traffic in the city’s southeast when the population of Red Deer is about 188,000 people.
The Molly Banister Drive alignment was projected to be required when the population of Red Deer reaches 188,000, which is estimated to be in about 34 years, in 2054.
“The discussion of whether or not Molly Banister Drive should be extended has been a recurring topic for many years,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Dawe. “The Molly Banister Drive extension was first shown in City planning and transportation documents in the 1970’s, and after considering input from the many residents who joined us tonight or submitted feedback in advance, Council decided not to proceed with second and third reading, which keeps the protected alignment in development plans.”
In the fall of 2019, The City received an application to amend two development plans in the East Hill area. Melcor, the developer of the area, requested that the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan (MASP) be amended by removing the Molly Banister Drive protected roadway alignment (extension of Molly Banister Drive to 40 Avenue) from the plans.
More information can be found at www.reddeer.ca/mollybanister.
Tour the newly renovated Westerner Park Centrium
From the City of Red Deer and Westerner Park
Preview of renovations almost complete ahead of Team Canada training at Westerner Park Centrium
In 2019, Red Deer City Council approved a $3 million capital request from Westerner Park’s Exhibition Association, which operates the Centrium, as part of its 2020 capital budget to help with renovations needed at the facility.
The City of Red Deer approved $3 million toward a revitalization project that would improve the 1991- era arena’s dressing rooms, concourse and seating.
At the time of budget approval, Tara Lodewyk, General Manager of Planning and Protective Services said “Westerner Park is a huge economic driver in the region. We want it to keep attracting more events, as Red Deer businesses and citizens’ benefit whenever the Centrium brings in various sport, business and cultural attractions.”
Renovations, which are nearing completion, include updating dressing rooms, adding additional railing to the outer edge of the concourse, new modernized LED score clock and signage, and one of the biggest projects, replacing the 30-year-old spectator seats to meet modern facility standards. Westerner Park officials had aimed to complete renovations before hockey players started arriving for the World Junior Championship that were set to run Dec. 26, 2020, to Jan. 5, 2021, which has since been deferred to 2021/2022. Construction during the pandemic occurred more efficiently due to no events being held in the facility, while renovations also provided local economic stimulus by employing local trades.
On September 17, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that all games for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be played in Edmonton, instead of Red Deer, due to COVID- 19 restrictions, without fans in attendance, but will return to Edmonton and Red Deer in 2021.
However, Red Deer is hosting Canada’s best under 20 hockey players ahead of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Forty-seven players will attend a training camp at the Centrium at Westerner Park from November 16 until December 13. The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of sports all-stars, before the team enters the bubble in Edmonton. The Red Deer camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and the media.
“Not being able to host World Juniors this year was a significant disappointment for many Red Deerians who were anticipating welcoming the international hockey community back to our city,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “I know Red Deer will be ready to welcome the world to our community in 2021/2022, and will actively continue our preparations for this incredible opportunity for our city. This year, we are glad to be able to participate in preparation for the World Juniors by hosting a selection camp bubble at the Centrium.”
“The renovations and upgrades will enhance guest experience at Westerner Park and ensure the comfort and safety for everyone that attends events in the Centrium,” said Mike Olesen, Westerner Park CEO. “The upgrades will also create more interest from national and international events to consider Red Deer and Westerner Park for upcoming events.”
“We’re incredibly excited for hockey fans to experience the bold changes taking place inside our home, the Centrium,” said Merrick Sutter, Sr. Vice President, Red Deer Rebels. “The much needed upgrades provide a fresh, clean look for all guests and events, and further cements the facility as a premiere destination for major events and junior hockey.”
Masks now required in all City facilities in Red Deer. City council to vote on remaining public spaces next week.
From The City of Red Deer
City Council will consider third reading of mandatory Mask Bylaw next Monday
The decision to proceed with first and second reading of a mandatory mask bylaw came after approximately seven hours of debate.
As part of tonight’s council meeting, City Council also approved a bylaw requiring face coverings in all City facilities in Red Deer. The Face Coverings Bylaw in Civic Facilities takes effect immediately with employees and patrons inside any City building, where services are provided to the public, required to wear a face covering unless they are within an office or cubicle. The key exceptions are those with medical conditions, when eating/drinking, when doing heavy labour, to name a few.
In addition, City Council endorsed the following recommendations that state The City of Red Deer will:
- advocate to the Government of Alberta that COVID-19 related health restrictions be applied at the regional level, if not province wide, in order to ensure greater consistency between proximal municipalities whose citizens are likely to travel to and from such municipalities and interact regularly.
- advocate to the Government of Alberta to request more timely and responsive communications regarding COVID-19 related data and announcements to municipalities, namely The City of Red Deer, prior to information being shared with the public.
- update Red Deer City Council on current COVID-19 status in the city of Red Deer; actions being taken to curb community transmission; and, progress on targeted communications within the community.
- increase communications and engagement with Red Deer citizens, businesses and the community as a whole.
In addition to consideration of a mask bylaw, the resolutions endorsed by City Council today focus on enhanced advocacy and communication with the Province of Alberta as The City works to protect the health and safety of not only Red Deerians, but citizens across the province.
The proposed mask bylaw includes the mandating of mandatory masking in all public places in Red Deer. The draft bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities.
It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage. In an amendment to the draft, Council resolved to limit the bylaw’s application to only those public places with a capacity of 15 or more patrons. The fine for not wearing a mask in a public place is $50.
“The resolutions endorsed by City Council today will trigger further provincial advocacy on enhanced communication, and regional/provincial approaches to COVID-19 restrictions. These measures will ensure continuity in our region and across the province as we municipally work to support citizens, businesses and our community as a whole while this pandemic continues to evolve and affect us all,” said City Manager Allan Seabrooke.
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