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ALBERTA CITY SANDS STORM PONDS TO DISCOURAGE USE FOR SKATING, HOCKEY

The City of Chestermere, which is part of the Calgary Regional Partnership, is taking some backlash from residents after sanding storm ponds to ensure no one could skate or play hockey on them. The city insists the measure was taken due to fluctuations in ice thickness in these ponds, which capture and hold stormwater for the time needed to settle out sediments and pollutants. The water is then slowly released to our rivers, creeks, and streams.

"Every year, numerous times, there are accidents and often tragic ones as a result of people being or skating on storm pond ice across North America. This ice isn't safe for skating and any makeshift rink on a storm pond isn't a City sanctioned rink," said Chestermere officials in a release. "These have been put up, unlawfully, by residents. We ask residents to please not make rinks on storm ponds."

The City added that a young boy fell through the ice just recently at a storm pond. Although he was ok, that's when the decision was made to sand them in order to ensure no one else uses them.

"We understand that some are angry," the City continued in its release. "Comments such as that we are taking enjoyment of skating away from children is the furthest from the truth. We have 13 safe and sanctioned outdoor rinks to be enjoyed. Storm ponds are not for skating. Every year people fall through and drown."

Some residents aren't happy with the decision, though.

"We've been here 10 years and clearing this pond for our kids since they've grown up, and without incident. This ice gets very thick,» Chris McMitchell, who has a city-owned storm pond near his backyard, told Global News.

«I'm a little mad. I don't see how this ice is hurting anyone. It's 18 inches thick in December and January and not a lot of water flow," said Steve Smith, another regular user of the storm ponds.


TIM TUCKER
JANUARY 19, 2021  (9H56)
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