City of Red Deer
Woody’s Spray Park among three recreation facilities to be enhanced by donation from Red Deer business leader
Enhancing recreation through community partnership
A long time community supporter and local business owner is contributing to three recreation amenities within Red Deer through personal financial contribution. Woody Paylor has graciously donated funds that will see the replacement of a community park and the naming of the new spray park and a current athletic park.
Woody’s contribution will be honoured for years to come with the naming of the new spray park at G.H. Dawe Community Centre, which will be named Woody’s Spray Park; and the track at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School will be named Woody’s Athletic Park. A portion of the contribution will also be used to replace the playground at the Bower-Kin Community Centre.
“Over the years, Woody has supported many community initiatives that lead to enhanced quality of life for Red Deerians. He is passionate about initiatives that enable individuals of all ages and abilities to have opportunities to get outdoors, be active, and build community in a city they call home,” said Mayor
Ken Johnston. “His financial contribution to the three amenities speaks to this and will leave a lasting legacy on our beloved recreation amenities for generations to come.”
Each of the three amenities that will benefit from his generosity have a personal connection to him and his family. The track is where he and his family have spent numerous hours training and supporting annual community events. The Bower-Kin park has provided hours of entertainment to the youth
connected to his family as well as the surrounding neighborhood. The spray park will bring joy to generations for many years to come, as one of the many enhancements occurring at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre.
“Red Deer and Central Alberta have been very kind to my family and supported our business in tremendous ways. I feel privileged to give back to a community we care about. The outdoor trails and parks have been the jewel of our city and my family wants to see that continued,” said Woody Paylor.
“My wife Val and I have spent many hours at community playgrounds, and we are excited to be part of building one together with the Bower Community Association. Our entire family has enjoyed events at the track, and we are thrilled to see this amenity continue to provide a similar experience for others in
The City will coordinate the playground replacement. As part of the design process, the neighbourhood will be involved in the playground design through engagement with the Bower-Kin Community Association that will help bring the vision to life. Planning is anticipated to begin over the winter, with construction to take place in the spring and summer of 2023.
Woody’s Athletic Park has preplanned construction beginning in Summer 2023 with an anticipated completion by Fall 2023. Woody’s Spray Park has an anticipated opening of early Summer 2023.
The City will be hosting community events for each of these amenities upon completion, where we can celebrate Woody’s legacy in our community.
Woody’s commitment to community spirit, togetherness, and active living, are all exemplified with this generous contribution. The contribution amount and the terms of the agreement will not be publicly disclosed. Although Woody wishes these terms remain confidential, we can share that it is one of the
largest personal contributions made to City recreation spaces.
The G.H. Dawe Community Centre Expansion project is expected to be open in late February 2023, with Woody’s Spray Park opening in the summer of 2023. For more information on the project, visit www.reddeer.ca/daweexpansion.
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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