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  • City of Chestermere implements beach admission fees for non-residents

    city council implements IMG_7646x
    For the remainder of 2020, visitors to Chestermere’s beaches who are not residents of the community will be required to pay an admission fee.

    July 29, 2020 – 8:00 p.m.

    Chestermere, AB – For the remainder of 2020, visitors to Chestermere’s beaches who are not residents of the community will be required to pay an admission fee.

    With the current public health concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, the City recently implemented capacity limits at the beaches, under the authority of the provincial beach guidance document, to ensure that visitors are safe. To help offset the costs of enforcing those limits, the City is now requiring non-residents pay an admission fee.

    “Our main goal for 2020 is to keep people safe,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “We know that implementing capacity limits is the best way to ensure all beachgoers can have a safe and fun experience, but adding fencing and security is not free. As Chestermere residents already pay for the maintenance of the beaches, adding an admission fee for those who do not live in our community will help to offset the costs of keeping visitors safe during this global pandemic.”

    The City cannot prohibit non-residents from using the beach as Alberta does not allow discrimination between residents and non-residents being permitted in public places. However, by passing Bylaw 026-20 on Tuesday evening, the City can now recover some of the costs associated with the activities at the beach by charging a fee for non-residents. This is done under the authority of the Municipal Government Act and the City has the right to regulate activities on Chestermere Lake under the agreement with the Western Irrigation District. 

    Chestermere is home to three lakeside parks: Anniversary Park & Beach, Cove Park & Beach and Sunset Park, all of which provide access to the 5km long Chestermere Lake.

    Non-residents will need to pay the visitor fees which are $15 per person over 15 years of age, $5 for anyone between 3 to 15 years of age and free for infants under 3. A family pass will be available for $40.

    Chestermere residents over the age of 15 will need to prove residency by showing identification before being allowed complimentary entry. This can be a driver’s license, mail, or school ID. An adult resident can also vouch for another person’s residency.  

    Once visitors have paid or been verified as a Chestermere resident, beachgoers will be given a wristband that allows access to any of the three lakeside parks that day, provided the park is not already at capacity. People with a wristband will be permitted to leave the beach area and return as they need, so long as the maximum capacity isn’t reached.

    If visitors (regardless of whether they are residents or not) come to the park and it is at capacity, they will need to wait or come back later. There will not be a time limit on how long visitors can stay at the park once admitted.

    The maximum limit at Anniversary Park will be 615 people (115 on the beach), the maximum limit at Cove Beach will be 205 (39 on the beach) and the maximum at Sunset Park will be 483. If overcrowding continues to be a problem, the City may further limit or close beaches.

    “This bylaw will be in effect for the remainder of 2020,” says Mayor Chalmers. “At the end of this year, we will review its effectiveness and need for the future. That way, we can ensure we are still following the best ways to keep our residents and visitors safe, even as they enjoy our city.”

    Chestermere Lakefront Park & Beach Details

    Admission Fees:

    • Visitors over 15 years of age:                                $15
    • Youth between 3 and 14 years of age:                $5
    • Infants under 3 years of age:                                 Free
    • Family (maximum of 2 adults & 3 youth):            $40
    • Residents of Chestermere:                                    Free

    Capacity Limits:

    • Anniversary Park:    615 (115 on the beach)
    • Cove Beach:             205 (39 on the beach)
    • Sunset Park:             483

    Before Visiting:

    • If you are sick, you must stay home. People who have travelled internationally in the last 14 days, or are a close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, are not permitted. 
    • Plan ahead. The beach may be full by the time you arrive, and you will need to wait or find alternate arrangements.
    • Beaches and lakeside parks are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Booking a spot in advance is not an option.

    At the Beach / Park:

    • Parking at Anniversary Park will be closed off to provide room for queuing and handicap parking. Visitors can park in the designated areas in the Rec Centre parking lot.
    • Visitors should always maintain 2 meters of physical distancing during all types of activities.
    • Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask other than when they are in the water.
    • The Province is currently advising that COVID-19 transmission through water is currently unknown, and people entering the water do so at their own risk.
    • The Province advises beachgoers to avoid sharing items such as food, toys and supplies with people who don’t live with you.
    • Safety measures in place include clear markings for lineups to bathrooms and showers, increased signage, more hand sanitizing stations, and limiting the number of people entering the washroom at a time. Visitors must respect the limits on those facilities.
    • Washrooms and showers are cleaned and sanitized regularly.

    Enforcement:

    • The City will be controlling and monitoring capacity limits with fencing, designated entrances and exits, and staff.
    • Regular patrols will be occurring in the parks and beaches.
    • If visitors do not respect health regulations, the RCMP or public health inspectors are authorized to enforce orders under the Provincial Health Act.
    • Visitors violating the orders will be asked to leave and may be fined.
    • The City can also limit or close the beaches if necessary.
    • Visit www.chestermere.ca/beaches for capacity limits and more information.
    • Read the Provincial Beach Guidance Document before you arrive.

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