Libraries and Sports Fields Re-opening
I hope you are doing well, today. As our province takes major steps to re-open services and programs this week, I want to keep you informed on the steps I am taking to keep us safe and get us moving again.
Transit and Parking Fares Resume
The City will resume fare collection on June 15. ETS will accept March, April, and July passes for the rest of June.
Beginning on Monday masks will be distributed between 7am-7pm at West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre, Mill Woods Transit Centre, Northgate Transit Centre, Century Park Transit Centre – on the second floor, Churchill LRT Station, Clareview LRT Station, and Kingsway LRT Station. It is not mandatory to wear a mask on Transit, but I would encourage you to do so if you can.
Parking fees and enforcement in EPark zones and City-owned parkades were reinstated June 8.
Opening Recreation Centres and Sports Facilities
Some of the City of Edmonton facilities will be reopening in the coming weeks, with a plan for reopening Recreation Centres in development. Of course, this will look a little different than we were used to pre COVID-19. Rentals on sport fields will reopen for league/tournament bookings June 15. I will make sure to update you as soon as I have more information.
Neighbourhood Greenspace and Turf Maintenance
Over the past two weeks I’ve heard from a number of residents who are disappointed at the level of service regarding grass and weed maintenance throughout the NE. I hear you, I want to see beauty in our neighbourhoods too! I’ve brought these concerns to the Parks and Roads team; here is what they said:
“Due to budget cuts coming from both lack of revenue from services impacted by COVID-19, and by Council’s decision not to increase taxes at this year’s budget discussions, changes had to be made to 2020 operations. The mowing cycle went from a 10-14 day cycle to a 21 day cycle throughout the city. Budget cuts meant the City was unable to hire seasonal mowing staff. In previous years we had around 100 mowers working daily throughout the city, and now the City has 50. This is not the ideal level of maintenance, but the team has assured me they are getting to all locations as best we can with the resources we have. At this point, dandelions have already gone to seed and are too late to spray. On the plus side, dandelions are great for the bees!”
I have also asked for an update on the budget savings this reduced service represents and will share that information with you when I receive it.
I will keep pushing for more and equitable service for the North East, as I always do.
Edmonton Public Library To Reopen Soon
Many of you are asking about the Edmonton Public Library and I am right there with you. We are all eager to get back to our public spaces and read, read, read. I found this graphic very helpful and wanted to share it with you, too. Some North East access will be restored starting Monday, June 15.
Hope you have a lovely weekend and are able to enjoy this great weather,