Edmonton introducing paid parking at five city sites in spring 2022, seeking private operator for golf courses

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Paid parking will be implemented at five City of Edmonton sites starting spring 2022 in an effort to boost revenues following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the city’s “Reimagine Services” work, a total of 18 changes will be taken to save at least $6 million over the next five years. Additional savings of $9.9 million over the same time period could be achievable, but these actions are still being analyzed.

In a report released Friday, city manager Andre Corbould said one of these actions will be the introduction of paid parking at Emily Murphy Park, Rafters’ Landing, Muttart Conservatory, Fort Edmonton Park and the Telus World of Science starting in 2022. There will be a two-hour free period for the locations in the river valley not associated with an attraction.

Hawrelak Park is also being considered for paid parking after the planned rehabilitation project is complete, at the earliest by 2026.


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These cost-saving measures will help improve the city’s financial situation moving forward and are necessary to ensure the city can continue to provide essential services to residents, Corbould said.

“While these reviews started in response to the changing economic conditions and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the actions being presented to council are necessary in order to manage the corporation for Edmontonians in a way that ensures services are effective, efficient and relevant today and into the future,” he said in a statement.

Residents with an accessible parking placard and school groups will be exempt. The city hasn’t announced what the rates will be but is estimating revenues of about $1.7 million over the next five years from parking fees.

Another service change still being worked on is the contracting out of golf course operations. The city will be issuing an Expression of Interest next year to assess private sector interest in leasing and operating the Riverside, Rundle and Victoria golf courses.

If a private operator is deemed feasible, the city would retain all ownership of facilities and land and the courses would remain public. This change could save the city $1.3 million over five years.

But Corbould said the city decided to stop short of contracting out the operations of recreation facilities at this time, such as Oliver Arena, Tipton Arena and Eastglen Pool, which were up for closure during last fall’s budget discussion. Instead, the city is reviewing programming models and will develop new strategies, including the possibility of increased fees, a reduction in the amount of subsidized rental time and an increased use of third-party program providers.


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Recreation programming where direct costs outweigh registration fees will be eliminated, but a list of these activities hasn’t yet been determined.

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 30 president John Mervyn said he feels the city’s plans are “short-sighted” and that contracting out will lead to a reduction in the service levels that Edmontonians expect. If golf courses are outsourced, Mervyn said it will impact 18 full-time positions.

“Golf courses and recreation centres were built with public dollars to provide citizens with the opportunity to experience these things, not to make money,” he said in an interview with Postmedia.

The 18 actions will be presented to city council June 22, but can be advanced without formal approval.




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