Categorized | News

Fort Macleod is on the verge of something big

Fort Macleod is on the verge of something big.
Planning, vision and leadership are key elements the community needs now, more than ever.
“Our time is now and we’ve got to take advantage of it,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.
Construction of the $122.4-million Alberta Public Safety and Law Enforcement Training Centre and realignment of the east entrance to town will provide an economic boost.
Town council and staff hosted an open house Wednesday at the community centre to showcase and discuss the opportunities that lay before Fort Macleod.
“The reasons for holding an open house like this are two-fold,” Patience aid. “One is to gather input from the public on what we’ve got in front of us.”
“The other is to answer any questions they might have,” Patience added. “We thought it was time to get everybody together and see what their thoughts are.”
About 100 people turned out to view displays on the police college, highway realignment, new municipal development plan and new subdivisions.
Town of Fort Macleod staff were also on hand to discuss the 2011 budget and options for operating the ambulance department.
Members of the environment committee, playground committee, economic development committee and Fort Museum also had displays.
Patience said there is much about which to be optimistic in Fort Macleod.
“I certainly think all that work we did was to get us on the verge of something,” said Patience, who is in his third term as mayor.
The community has gone through five years of unprecedented development, with several records set for construction permits.
“The hope here is by the foundation we’re developing is those records get broken over and over,” Patience said.
The mayor expects a serious economic boom in Fort Macleod to start this summer when construction begins on the police college.
The development of new highway commercial property once the east entrance to town is realigned will also foster that boom.
“Back in 2004 when we (council) started, this was where we wanted to get to,” Patience said. “The work is starting to pay off.”
Patience said winning the police college bid was important, but there is more work to be done.
“Council has to take a lead role,” Patience said. “We have to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us.”
To take advantage of those opportunities, council developed a $7.4-million capital budget for 2011.
That budget includes $3.5-million to provide services to the police college site and $403,000 to open a new residential subdivision for development.
Council will draw $2,945,172 from its reserves to help fund the capital budget, a decision that caused councillors some sleepless nights but was necessary, Patience said.
Patience explained that since 2005 council has been building its land sales reserve fund for this purpose.
Council is also taking on $4-million in debt for its capital budget, most of which will be funded through land sales revenue and off-site levies.
“The goal is to not overburden the taxpayer,” Patience said.

Comments are closed.