Opinion Column

New Year is full of promise for Lacombe

Mayor Grant Creasey/City of Lacombe

The start of a new year provides us with an opportunity to reflect on what has transpired over the past 12 months, and to look forward to new opportunities for growth. On that note, I would like to review some of our accomplishments as a municipality in 2017 and look at some upcoming priorities for this year.

In spring 2017, construction began on the long awaited wastewater transmission system connecting Lacombe, Blackfalds and Lacombe County to the wastewater treatment facility in Red Deer. The project includes the construction of approximately 27 km of wastewater pipeline, regional lift stations in Lacombe and Blackfalds and an odour management facility in Red Deer. This crucial infrastructure project is expected to cost $71 million and is scheduled for completion on March 31, 2018.

Last summer, we successfully completed the Main Street Project, which included the replacement of sanitary sewer mains in the downtown core, pedestrian and road safety improvements along with parking and other functional enhancements to accommodate future growth.

I am pleased to report this project was finished on time and on budget. I would also like to acknowledge the challenges faced by residents and businesses during this busy construction period and thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Renovations on the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex were also completed last summer and a grand opening celebration was held in late September. On behalf of council, I thank everyone involved in helping to bring this multi-year project to a successful conclusion.

Last fall, the City of Lacombe and Lacombe County celebrated a historic milestone with the signing of two significant joint agreements, which lead the way for the servicing and future development of lands near the interchange of the QEII and Hwy 12 at the western edge of Lacombe.

These agreements will benefit both municipalities for many years to come as they promote future development and growth in the region. For the city, the west area servicing project will facilitate a major commercial development along with a high-density residential and trail system development on the east side of the QEII corridor. For Lacombe County, the servicing will lead to the creation of 258 hectares of serviced land on the west side of the QEII.

In November, I was pleased to help celebrate the opening of the Lacombe Centre for Positive Relationships at the Mary C. Moore Public Library. This important community resource provides much-needed support and resources for individuals affected by family violence, elder abuse and bullying.

I could go on and on as there are many more things to discuss, but for a more in-depth look at 2017, please watch for the annual Year in Review report, available soon on the city’s website.

The City of Lacombe has a new and progressive council with a strong focus on economic development. Our message is this: we are open for business! I invite local, regional and national retailers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs big and small to consider setting up shop here.

With a regional trade area exceeding 170,000 people, Lacombe is an ideal location for commercial and industrial development with a ready supply of serviced, suitably zoned land available.

Lacombe is also an important logistics, research and service hub for the agricultural industry in Alberta. The city hosts both the federal and provincial agriculture research facilities, as well as the head office for the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) and is proud to serve area farmers and producers.

Our historic downtown, with its growing complement of sidewalk patios, exciting new restaurants, artisanal bakeries and an award-winning microbrewery, is fast becoming a destination for ‘foodies’ across the region. We are always looking to add to our burgeoning culinary scene.

As mayor, I will continue to work hard with council and staff to promote an environment that encourages investment and business development, and highlight Lacombe as a preferred destination for tourism, shopping, dining and entertainment.

We will plan for responsible and sustainable growth, build the necessary infrastructure, maintain our facilities and offer the services required to maintain and improve our collective standard of living. We will work together as a community to ensure that the City of Lacombe remains the best place to live work and play in Alberta. 

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