Luncheon Love Fest

Leduc County Mayor John Whaley (on left) and Leduc City Mayor Greg Krischke (on right) both focused on Intermunicipal cooperation during their speeches at the January Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.

The January Leduc Regional Chamber Luncheon was once again a sold out affair with everyone eager to hear the "state of the union" addresses from both Leduc City Mayor Greg Krischke and Leduc County Mayor John Whaley.
    Mayor Krischke was the first to take over the podium with the introduction of Leduc's new corporate video. The video, professionally produced and highlighting the best that Leduc has to offer, was designed to attract new residents and businesses to the City. 
    After the excellent reception the video received from the audience Mayor Krischke affirmed that "People are our greatest resource.", and then proceeded to share some recent statistics that showed how tools such as the promotional video have affected the City of Leduc.
    He stated that in 2013 Leduc's population increased another 6.9%, or 1,800 residents, and that we had the second highest year ever for commercial/industrial construction permits. As an example of our rapid growth Mayor Krischke shared that amazingly, for a city of just under 28,000 people, over the last five years the City of Leduc has seen over one billion dollars in building and industrial permit revenues.
    He said that the quality of life in Leduc is what attracts people and while we need to look out for today, we also need to keep and eye out for tomorrow. One of the examples he cited was the C-Line bus service which is a joint initiative with the County of Leduc, and which has seen another increase in ridership of 29% over this last year.
    One of the focuses of Mayor Krischke's presentation was bringing to light the many different ways the City of Leduc partners with the County, averring that the City and County are "closely aligned".
    A number of new projects are in the works with the Mayor excited to speak about three major infrastructure projects getting underway this year. The new west end fire hall, the library expansion and the City's new splash park will all break ground this year and completion of all three projects is projected for the summer of 2015.
    The final subject Mayor Krischke mentioned was to touch on the annexation between the County and the City of Edmonton. He reiterated that the City has a close working relationship with the County and that the City supports the County in that any annexation must maintain the viability of Leduc County. However, he also stated that he supports the ability of Edmonton to grow but that a contested annexation is costly and does not benefit anyone.
    In closing, Mayor Krischke said that Leduc has a quality of life that continues to attract and retain residents and that he was proud to be our Mayor.
    As Mayor Krischke retook his seat to a loud round of applause, Leduc County Mayor John Whaley was welcomed onto the podium. Mayor Whaley immediately got a chuckle from the audience as he thanked Mayor Krischke for the show of support for the region and then commented that the luncheon today was going to be a bit of a "love fest" between the City and County. "But in a good way! Oh, I think that comment is going to come back to bite me." he said with a smile.
    He then drew an even larger laugh when he commented on the attendance of an Edmonton City Councillor by joking, "And what can I say about Edmonton Councillor Mike Nickel keeping tabs on what I'm going to say here?"
    Mayor Whaley began his speech by also touching on the joint C-Line initiative stating that with 52,827 riders in 2013 he felt that this service was brought in at the right time for the region. 
He then raised the very real concern of the 190 bridges within the county that are all over 50 years old and which will all be needing repairs and upgrades in the very near future to keep them safe and viable. "We need to figure out how to find the money to fix them with no more Provincial dollars coming in for those repairs. I just thought I would mention that seeing as there are Provincial representatives in the room." commented Mayor Whaley in a teasing manner, referring to the presence of Minister Diana McQueen. 
    He briefly touched on the very successful 50th Anniversary celebrations that took place for Leduc County in 2013 and then moved on to pay tribute to all the farmers in the area and to salute them for the job that they do.
    It was pointed out that another way that the County partners with local municipalities is through the County's recreation infrastructure and services cost sharing agreements. In 2013 the County gave out over $2 million to communities such as Thorsby, Warburg, Calmar and New Sarepta for facilities and programming. 
    2013 also saw Leduc County bring in $52 million in new residential construction and $102 million in commercial/industrial construction.
    Then Mayor Whaley began to speak on the topic everyone was waiting for. He said, "Everyone wants to hear about the "A" word. Annexation. We have a number of them on the books with Devon, Beaumont and Edmonton putting forward proposals. Calmar and Thorsby are looking to grow as well, and we just successfully completed one with the City of Leduc. It is a big region and we work together." 
    Commenting directly on the Edmonton proposal Mayor Whaley did not mince words as he stated "If Edmonton goes ahead as proposed it would set the County years behind in infrastructure and growth abilities. We can't afford to squander our #1 farm lands which would be lost in the Edmonton annexation."
    Moving on to the Beaumont annexation Mayor Whaley surprised the crowd by announcing that he feels the two parties are pretty close to a "deal" they could publicly roll out to residents, possibly within the next month. 
    With the recently announced Devon Annexation proposal for 600 acres of County land on the south end of the town, Mayor Whaley shared that the Town and County are currently in discussions, with the intent to move forward with a cost sharing agreement for the land.
    Mayor Whaley received a round of applause as he stated that "The County is not against annexation because people have to grow. I just hate having to spend taxpayers dollars on lawyers for it. Let's just get together and do it!"
He finished up his presentation with what he called a "good news story" in that the CRB had recently approved the Area Structure Plan for New Sarepta and that they would also be celebrating the grand opening of their newly expanded Agri-Plex this June. Other exciting planned projects showing the growth around the County are the Royal Oaks subdivision at the north end of the East Vistas, which will be fully urbanized country estate lots, the recently announced commercial expansion at the Edmonton International Airport, and the two gas fired generators that should be completed and running by 2017 at the Genesee Power Plant.
    One of the last statements shown on the County's Power Point presentation was the perfect closing remark in that it said "The future is uncertain but we remain optimistic." 
    The next Chamber luncheon will be held on February 7th at the Nisku Recreation Centre with MP James Rajotte giving an "Update From Ottawa". For tickets please contact the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce at 780-986-5454. 

 

More Stories:
  • Millet Harvest Fair The Town of Millet Council and Administration started off the Harvest fair with a BBQ on Friday, from noon till 2:30 pm with hamburgers and hot dogs. The food was cooked with tender loving care by the Mayor, Rob Lorensen, ...
  • Eastlink Creates A $10,000 Link To Daycare In Wetaskiwin “Eastlink is dedicated to playing an active role in supporting charitable and non-profit organizations and activities that enrich the families and communities in which we operate,” declared Julie Benoit, Regional Marketing ...
  • Millet Fire Department: Full-Service Fire & Rescue Experts Did you know that the fire department in Millet is manned entirely by volunteers? Did you know that they are, “on-call,” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? And did you know that they are as qualified as you will ...
  • A Happy Comeback It’s been one year since I left the Pipestone Flyer for a much needed ‘sabbatical’, after two and a half years of my weekly column, reporting on regional happenings, and experiencing some personal changes... It was a year ...
  • Leduc County Boot Drive Six Leduc County firefighters will be representing Canada in the upcoming World Rescue Organization’s World Rescue Challenge. Team Captain, Rob Csolle, said the team of volunteer firefighters made substantial progress in ...
  • Amazing Corn Maze For the past fourteen years, Leduc and area residents know when fall is approaching as that is when the Amazing Corn Maze begins to welcome visitors. From early August until Thanksgiving, people have the opportunity to wander ...
  • Bigger Play Space At Notre-Dame On Tuesday, August 26th, while the school community prepares for the return to school, a group of dedicated parents got together to proudly receive a well-deserved cash influx into the Notre-Dame Playground Expansion project. ...
  • Millet 16th Anniversary Concert Millet's Concert in the Country celebrated its 16th Anniversary this year with full attendance and a variety of music styles by gifted performers. Each performer or group brought a special highlight and style to their set. ...
  • Leduc Firefighter Headed for World Championship For the past several years the Leduc Fire Department has had success in competing in the FireFit Championships. Most notably have been Kerry Harper and Kari Skierka who have represented the department at a number of international ...
  • RCMP Musical Ride Wetaskiwin When an RCMP officer is dressed in the traditional RCMP scarlet serge jacket, blue breeches featuring a bold yellow stripe, long shiny brown boots with jack spurs and brown serge leather gloves, that officer attracts attention ...
  • Rock The Rails 2014 The 8th Annual Rock the Rails was held on Saturday, August 23rd, and was the most successful to date. The competition was held at the Skateboard Park starting at 11am. It was a perfect day, with sunny skies and a mild wind ...
  • Local Student Awarded $1000 Scholarship "I am incredibly thankful to be selected as a 2014 Tim Hortons scholarship recipient,” remarked Peiyi Liang at the local Tim Hortons restaurant on August 13th, 2014. “Earning this scholarship will lessen the burden that comes ...
  • Doctors Are Writing Prescriptions to Get Active Submitted by Glenna Mageau Primary Care Network Wetaskiwin Patients wanting to increase their physical activity and improve their health can now get a prescription to help encourage them. Primary Care Network (PCN) family ...
  • Millet Public Library Wraps Up A Busy Summer Submitted by Margaret Blackstock The Centre for Family Literacy visited the Millet Public Library on August 13 for a fun filled morning with children and parents attending. The parents learned how children develop speaking ...
  • Pedal For Kids A local woman will be hopping on her bicycle to help get more kids off the sidelines. Rachel Yeung, the Leduc area’s Jumpstart representative, will be participating in a five-day bike ride from Ottawa to Quebec City next ...
  • By-the-Lake Park Trail Open To Wheel Chairs And Walkers Located on the outskirts of Wetaskiwin, just west of Adams Pontiac along 56 Avenue is a peaceful outdoor setting, By-the-Lake Park. This park offers a diverse array of recreational opportunities and events such as weddings, ...
  • Loonstock 2014 A Resounding Success The Loonstock promotional materials stated the ‘gates open @ 1:00 pm Saturday, August 16th, 2014’. However, when driving by the Loons Golf Course & RV Park course on Friday, August 15th, it looked like everyone was already ...
  • "We Love Art' Celebration Art Smith is an institution around Wetaskiwin. He won't turn 94 until December, but one of his nieces enlisted the aid of a couple more to put on a birthday celebration of, “We Love Art” during the lovely summer weather. ...
  • Calmar Fair Days This past weekend was another great time in Calmar as the town welcomed people from as far away as Texas to their annual fair days and mega market. Calmar has always been known for its hospitality and this annual event is ...
  • Leduc Regional Parent Link One of the more successful programs available to Leduc County and City residents has been the Leduc Regional Parent Link. This is an initiative of the Alberta Children and Youth Services that is run by the County for the ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia