I hope you’re having a great summer and enjoying the beautiful weather. Below are some updates on the latest decisions at City Hall.
As the re-opening process continues, a number of leisure facilities are now open to residents. The two outdoor pools open this summer, George Ward and Riversdale, are now accepting reservations online as well as by phone. To book your swim time please visit this page.
Two indoor Leisure Centres, the Shaw Centre and the Lakewood Civic Centre, are now open to the public. The Shaw Centre’s fitness area is open presently, and the pools will re-open August 5th. The pool at the Lakewood Civic Centre is open now, and you can learn more about planning your visit here.
Some residents have asked me why a greater number of facilities are not opening up at this point. There are a number of factors guiding our decisions on this topic, but one significant hurdle to opening more pools is the challenge of staffing these facilities on relatively short notice. With a shortened outdoor season due to the restrictions around COVID-19, the City has focused its efforts on opening a limited number of pools, and if the weather cooperates, we hope to keep these facilities open slightly later than usual. Your patience is appreciated, and if you have any questions about leisure programs heading into fall and winter please feel free to reach out.
After considerable discussion, City Council has approved its funding strategy for the reallocation of funding generously provided by the province. Of the $27.13 Million made available through this strategy, the City has held $15 Million in order to offset potential future reductions to reserves, and the remaining $12.13 has been divided among the following projects:
- $50,000 to study mitigation options for nuisance vehicle noise
- $3 Million for sidewalk expansion (building sidewalks in older neighbourhoods where there are gaps in the pedestrian network)
- $5 Million for sidewalk repair and maintenance (includes $1 Million for pedestrian accessible curb ramps and $4 Million for sidewalk preservation)
- $250,000 for a public wifi pilot project focused on the City centre
- $1.6 Million for parks asset management to upgrade and enhance parks throughout the city
- $500,000 for a pedestrian and cyclist rail crossing across the CN tracks west of Warman Road
- $1.4 for the West Central multi-use corridor adjacent to CP tracks
In addition, Council decided to retain a contingency of $330,000. This funding will help stabilize the city’s finances during an uncertain time and will also allow us to make important investments in the community.
As you’ve likely heard, City administration will be bringing forward some options for Council’s consideration regarding the regulation of mask usage in civic facilities, operations, and potentially even information about the process for a city-wide bylaw. We expect to have this discussion in August and perhaps September. At this point it’s not clear what the details might be, but my hope is that we will be able to work with the province and public health officials to make any civic regulations as effective and coordinated as possible. Stay tuned for more information next month, and feel free to follow up with any questions in the interim.
Neighbourhood Traffic Reviews
The Willows will begin its Neighbourhood Traffic Review process this August, with an online meeting scheduled for August 13th. If you live in the Willows and would like to participate, please visit this page for the details.
I hope you will feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns that might be on your mind. Thanks for reading, and have a great long weekend!
All the best,