Well, I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather these past couple weeks. Sometimes we are so busy, we forget to stop and appreciate the good days while they last. There sure has been enough rain days so we were due for some heat. Speaking of rain, flooding has yet again wreaked havoc on our infrastructure and has moved many bridges, culverts, and roads up on the list of priorities which displaces other projects that are also in need of an upgrade but still have some life left. On the plus side we are making progress overall as the replacement work should survive through the next big rain event as we engineer for today’s standards.
Alberta is set for another wave of investment and economic growth and the County of Wetaskiwin is looking to capitalize on these opportunities. Over the past few years, we have been working on our investment readiness strategy and are in a much better position today to attract and retain new and existing businesses. We are also in discussions with a few different companies about expanding and locating within the county. As things begin to materialize, we will be sure to let you know so watch for those announcements. We are continuing to evolve our strategy and are going to be setting a brand-new direction for economic development as we finalize the plans this fall. We are excited to implement some of the changes we have been talking about for a couple years now.
Part of the strategy revolves around an item I’ve been promoting every time you hear from me. Of course, I’m talking about our municipal development plan! It is crucial that we make some changes and lay out some areas where there should be a focus on development as well as identify some areas where development needs to be restricted in order to protect farmland and the environment. This is where you come in, who knows the area better than those who live there? You are the key to getting it right, we need to hear your thoughts and ideas. The draft M.D.P. will be coming out this fall, followed by public consultations where you get to have your say. The draft will take into account all the surveys and previous public engagements we have done over the years to present a working document for the public to review and provide comment. We have identified the following dates and locations to present the draft M.D.P. so mark your calendars:
• Buck Lake Community Hall October 17th at 7 pm
• Winfield Agriplex October 18th at 7 pm
• Falun Community Hall October 26th at 7 pm
• Mulhurst Bay Community Hall October 27th at 7 pm
• Millet Agriplex November 2nd at 7 pm
• Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society November 3rd at 7 pm
Lastly, we have also been undertaking a review of our Family and Community Support Services programming. There will be open houses where you can voice your ideas and talk about the areas you feel have the greatest need. Programs for children, youth, and seniors or any other group in need of supports. These open houses are fast approaching on August 24th and 25th. Please register online at county.wetaskiwin.ab.ca or phone 780-352-3321.
There are many things to look forward to and we are excited to continue looking for new opportunities.
Have a great rest of the summer!
Josh Bishop, Reeve
County of Wetaskiwin