UPDATE: Bold Center opening delayed
Lac La Biche County officials are saying that in recognition of a "staff-related tragedy," the Bold Center did not re-opened for Stage 2 of the provincial Open For Summer Covid-19 re-launch on Monday as expected. Instead, the building and its indoor recreation and community services will open on Wednesday, June 16.
The food court at the Bold Center, outdoor sports fields at the Bold Center, and Portage Pool did open on Monday.
Stage 2 of the province's Open for Summer plan is getting underway across Alberta. In Lac La Biche County, several steps have been taken towards the steady re-opening of services and facilities shuttered due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions.
Over the weekend, the Paul Richard Splash Park near McArthur Place re-opened after an extended closure due to provincial pandemic restrictions.
While social distancing and attendance numbers will still be monitored by municipal staff, the water will flow for community members looking for some outdoor activity, says Lac La Biche County spokesperson Jihad Moghrabi.
Also making a splash to start the new week, the Portage Pool will once again be welcoming swimmers.
"The pool will have swim times available for all groups starting on Monday," said Moghrabi going into last weekend, adding that specific times are available on the pool's website and social media links.
For more ways to get active, the community Bold Center will also be open for regular business starting this coming week. Moghrabi said the facility and staff were happy to welcome guests looking to use the fitness areas, fieldhouses and ice arena starting on Monday.
The Stage 2 opening of the planned three-stage plan means that precautions and restrictions will still be in place at all municipal facilities, noted Moghrabi, including social distancing. For the time-being, existing memberships for Bold Center users continue to be frozen, he explained, but if members want to request their memberships to be activated, they can be. All memberships will be activated again once Stage 3 is approved — which could be as soon as the last week of June if COVID-related hospitalization rates continue to decline and vaccination numbers across the province continue to increase.
Moghrabi said that FCSS programming is also gearing up again with the approval of Stage 2, and the Lac La Biche County Centre is open for business as well, offering rentals of agricultural equipment and product sales as well as the payment of development fees. Only electronic payments at the County Centre are accepted.
New this year — the sports fields at the Bold Center will also be available for rentals and community use. Moghrabi said a community open house for the new sports fields is planned for June 22. Details on rental availability of the artificial turf football field and the adjacent grass-surfaced playing field have yet to be finalized.
Also linked to the recreation and activity-related opportunities in the municipality ... at least in the ways of how to pay for those services ... McArthur Place opened its doors to the public last week as well. The municipal civic centre is the main office location for residents who like to pay their tax notices and utility bills face-to-face.
The 2021 municipal property tax notices were recently mailed to all taxpayers, with many preferring to bring their payments directly into the office.
"If people want to pay their taxes in person, they can come into McArthur Place now," said Moghrabi.