Chestermere City Council has received positive feedback from residents after implementing beach admission fees for non-Chestermere residents.
“Many residents have expressed that they are very happy with the current regulations and program,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
Adding, “We are open to all feedback and will be reviewing these measures at the end of the year.”
To address overcrowding concerns at public beaches, Chestermere City Council passed the Beach Use Bylaw on July 28, which required non-Chestermere residents to pay an admission to use the local beaches.
“Charging non-residents is to help offset the costs associated with the additional measures taken to help with overcrowding and compliance with the provincial physical distancing regulation,” Chalmers said.
The new measures to address overcrowding concerns included introducing capacity limits at the beach and recreational areas next to water, installing fences to help manage capacity, additional signage reminding visitors to distance from others, ensure regular patrols, staffing to manage crowds, and putting hygiene measures in place such as increased washroom sanitization.
“The fees for non-residents help with the cost recovery for those measures, as residents already contribute to park maintenance through their taxes,” Chalmers said.
It was important for the Chestermere City Council to keep the public beach areas open for residents to enjoy throughout the summer.
“Chestermere Lake is our community’s crown jewel. With a short summer season, we wanted to find innovative ways to enable residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful lakeside amenities in a COVID-19 safe way,” Chalmers said.
Adding, “By implementing capacity limits, we are able to ensure that beachgoers can have a safe and pleasant experience at the park.”
Chalmers would like to remind residents to do their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
“This means staying home when sick, washing hands frequently, wearing a mask indoors in crowded places, and staying two metres away from others,” he said.