The town is expecting a mixed reaction in the community when some COVID-19 restrictions begin to be lifted on May 14.
"It's polarizing," said town councillor Marni Fedeyko at the May 11 council meeting. "You're going to have people that are in support of getting things going, and you're going to have other people suffering from anxiety who think it's way too early to open."
Mayor Jeff Genung agreed it will be polarizing and believes that's all the more reason the town should stay its course of being cautious, scientific, and systematic in its gradual reopening of services.
He says he has received some pressure to change some of the town's direction in its COVID-19 response but isn't about to be swayed.
"I'd rather take a few pressure calls to have a park open than to hear we opened it too quickly and we have a spike in the virus."
The town's playgrounds and skateboard park will remain closed, as will the eco-centre until the town is confident all the pieces are in place to protect their staff and public.
"The town continues to monitor and evaluate the use of outdoor facilities, and any changes will be consider based on the Alberta public health recommendations and town resources," assured Interim CAO Drew Hyndman.
"I know there have been some questions about this, and how we're going to respond. We continue to actively monitor the situation, and will re-evaluate this as we move forth."
The town's Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) remains vigilant in following the directives of Alberta Health officials. But it is also carefully calculating the compounding impact of the opening of town services, explained Stacey Loe, town general manager of legislative and protective services, and the director of emergency management.
"As CAO Hyndman said, it is recovery, return, reintegrate, and then reopen," said Loe.
"One of the things that we're looking at is also the potential for cascading failure. So what one business unit does as they slowly open will impact another business unit as they are also slowly opening."
She says all of the plans go through the ECC to allow them to be coordinated and phased in a methodical way to consider all the potential impacts.
"We know that the community is eager to return to some form of normal, but we need to do that in a way that feels safe and smart going forward."