Normally farmers and ranchers would be cultivating, fertilizing and working the land in early May but on May 6th, 2015 they were happy to join approximately 450 neighbors and friends gathered inside a warm County building to attend the annual County of Wetaskiwin Open House. The weather was cold and blustery but inside guests were treated to a hot lunch served by County staff, view exhibits and mingle about to exchange handshakes, greetings and conversations.
The Open House has gained the reputation as a day when the County opens its doors to ratepayers, friends and guests so they can visit with the Council, administration and staff and learn more about all the programs and services offered by the County. The County does more than many people expect as illustrated by the displays of equipment outside and the static displays inside.
Although most people associate the County operations with roads and taxes, some of the Departments managed by Frank Coutney, CAO and assistant CAO Rod Hawken include:
• Agricultural Services
• Dog Control
• Emergency Services
• Family and Community Support Services
• Health and Safety
• Information Services
• Joint Economic Development (JEDI)
• Leisure and Community Services
• Northeast Pigeon Lake Regional Services
• Planning and Economic Development
• Water and Wastewater
• Garbage and Recycling
• Protective Services
It was evident that the Open House was a great chance for our staff to mix and work together by hosting the guests in a social type of setting. The event continues to provide an opportunity for both rural and urban residents to enjoy the fellowship of the day, see what the County is doing, see the new equipment and ask any questions of staff and Councilors. The Open House has also gained the reputation as an opportune time for retired farmers to connect with other retired farmers, active farmers and the County staff.