The Town of Okotoks will be able to expand the age limits for spectators in the Recreation Centre and Pason Arenas as part of a $2.9 million joint grant from the provincial and federal governments. The grant is part of the Safe Restart Agreement between Alberta and the Government of Canada.
“Okotoks was able to open our facilities much sooner than other municipalities because of the strict safety measures implemented and with the collaborative support from our sports organizations,” said Susan Laurin, Director of Community Services. “This made it possible for us to provide access to some spectators for players under the age of 11. With the additional funding, it’s now possible to expand this to older age groups.”
The Town is also working to open change rooms for users at the aquatic centre.
This will require three to four weeks to rehire and train staff, and to develop safety processes that will continue to meet AHS directives for indoor gatherings. This will also provide the time to work with all of the sports organizations so they can support safety protocols and communicate with parents.
“We are striving to have this in place for the first week of November and will be sending updates so parents of older players know when they can watch their children in person,” said Laurin.
The priority will continue to be on keeping facilities open, and providing a safe environment for staff and users that meet AHS safety protocols. Masks will continue to be mandatory in all municipal facilities, including the Recreation Centre and Pason Centennial Arenas, and safety measures such as 2 metre physical distancing will continue to be required.
The funding is provided through a Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST) grant, a collaboration between the provincial and federal governments, to support municipalities that have experienced significant operating impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will off-set Town-wide operating losses or deficits sustained as a result of COVID-19 response and restart.