July 10, 2020
Wabamun COVID-19 Relaunch Update
Please be assured that Wabamun continues to monitor and respond to the evolving relaunch plans put forward by the Province. And with that in mind, I would like to provide an update on COVID-19 related activities in our community.
This summer season certainly looks very different from previous years as we are required to thoughtfully reopen our facilities and amenities in accordance with provincial health guidelines. Despite the global pandemic, or perhaps because of it, our tourism traffic continues to grow, as we welcome visitors to enjoy our growing community. It is wonderful to see our small businesses bustle with activity and to see so many people continue to shop locally. This trend is likely to continue as other regional amenities limit the number of visitors and more people are enjoying the great outdoors a little closer to home.
Coal Diamond Sports Park & Campground
Baseball fields and soccer pitch are open for passive use and available for rental for regional teams as described in the AHS guidelines. That being said, all of the rain has made conditions challenging.
The sani-dump and washroom infrastructure is currently undergoing improvements and will re-open once work is complete and the facility is ready for use.
The group campsite will also open and will be available for rent once the area has a chance to dry. Under the current wet conditions any camping would significantly damage the grounds.
Our walking trails continue to remain open and please note that pets must be on a leash and that you are required to clean up after them.
The playground at the diamond is also open but not sanitized. Please carry your own hand sanitizer and use at your own risk.
The reopening to the hall has been delayed due to the necessary sanitizing equipment being on backorder. Once received and installed the hall will be available for rental. Renters will be required to follow all protocols as set out by Alberta Health Services.
Boat launch and pier were opened on May 15th. A new parking meter was installed and parking and boat launch fees are in effect. Up until this point we had issued temporary passes to residents and now as per usual, free passes are available for all residents. Please contact the Village office for more information.
Due to the stringent COVID-19 protocols, the public washrooms at Waterfront Park remain closed. Simply put, additional staff would be needed and rigorous cleaning requirements implemented if they were to open. We will continue to examine the guidelines as the situation evolves. In the meantime, port-a-potties have been provided at the park and each contains a hand sanitizer.
Given the high volume of visitors to our area and that the Chief Medical Officer has recommended only local use of playgrounds, our Waterfront Park facility remains closed. If the playground were to open, we would have to place signs recommending it not be used. In my opinion, this seems very insincere.
Originally, the Provincial Government had indicated that Spray Parks were identified for opening in Stage 3 of the relaunch. As a result we were quite surprised to see them included in Stage 2. Currently Council has directed Village administration to consider the additional measures required for the reopen of our splash park. While some communities have opened theirs, this situation has proven very challenging for small communities with limited numbers of staff and budgets. We will continue to monitor the Provincial Guidelines and should this change, we will reconsider our options.
The park is, for the most part, currently closed however we are looking at the possibility of reopening the cook shack as well as additional greenspace in conjunction with our ability to ensure AHS guidelines can be followed without going over park capacity. We are also exploring options to enhance the swimming experience for visitors to the park while also improving public safety. Stay tuned for more on these improvement over the coming weeks.
Vendor permits are also available, and so please contact the Village office or see the website for the application form and supporting information.
Vendors and buskers should contact the Village office to inquire about permits.
These Playgrounds have been available for some time now but are not sanitized. AHS suggests visiting playgrounds only in your local neighborhood and to practice good hand hygiene and to also maintain social distancing.
The Village office remains closed to the public but our staff is available by phone or email to serve you.
Council and Council Committees continue to meet in public by using video conferencing. While this is new for the Village of Wabamun, we have received very positive feedback from those who have been joining us.
Just as a reminder, 2020 property taxes are due July 31, 2020. Payments can be made via e-transfer, cheque or through Servus Credit Union. While Council has deferred penalties on late payments until September 30, 2020, we certainly encourage you to pay on time, if you are able.
All in-person programming has been cancelled and will be reevaluated in the fall.
FCSS is offering virtual events and activities; follow Wabamun & Area FCSS on Facebook or twitter to keep up to date on current offerings.
FCSS also offers support for those experiencing food insecurity or other challenges during this difficult time. Please reach out in confidence if you require assistance.
For updates on the Wabamun Library, Lions Bowling Alley or Seniors Centre & thrift store, please contact them directly for the most up to date information.
I trust this update has been somewhat helpful. As a reminder, please continue to follow AHS guidelines as a show of respect for our small community and those around you. Practice social distancing or wear a mask indoors when unable to keep your distance. Use good hand hygiene and proper etiquette when coughing or sneezing and please stay home when you are sick or even showing symptoms.
Remember, we are all in this together so let’s fight the spread!
Charlene Smylie, Mayor
July 3, 2020 – Waterfront Parking Update – A meter has been installed and accepts credit cards and does not accept cash. Fees are $20.00 per day for Boat launching and/or boat trailer parking or $10.00 per day for Day Use or single vehicle parking. Washroom, playground and spray park remain closed.
May 15, 2020 – COVID-19 RELAUNCH
The boat launch will be open today, May 15, 2020, at 5:00 pm. The Waterfront Park playground, Spray Park and washrooms will remain closed. Parking/launching is free. Regular cleaning of surfaces does not occur. Please exercise caution.
Village of Wabamun playgrounds remain closed.
Coal Diamond Sports Park is closed to organized sports such as soccer and baseball. The campground, sani dump and the parking lot are also closed.
Walking trails remain open and people are reminded to follow social distancing protocols.
Jubilee Hall remains closed.
The Village Office remains closed to in-person services.