Year in review – Paintearth County

Reeve Stan Schulmeister reflects on 2019 and moving forward into the New Year

The year 2019 started off with council’s selection of a Strategic Plan during a council working session.

Goals in the Strategic Plan were identified based on public satisfaction surveys carried out in late 2018, as well as based on identified strengths and opportunities within the County.

In 2019, Strategic planning items completed or in progress include:

• Completing Intermunicipal Collaborative Frameworks

• Intermunicipal Development Plans

• Setting new goals for economic development such as building a new web site for the County’s industrial park, Crowfoot Crossing

• Working with the Valley Ski Hill on sustainability and business planning

• Completing agreements with our municipal partners on fire services

• Updating the County Fire Bylaw

• Updating the County Water and Sewer Bylaw

• Hosting regional emergency management training and development sessions

• Focusing on delivering more public engagement on key issues, such as the Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw.

The County has also focused on getting more information of value into the hands of the public through social media, including more updates on what’s happening in communities in the region, more information for farmers and ranchers on managing their ag business effectively, and more discussions on topics that matter to you.

The County is also preparing to seek foreign investment dollars for value-added processing facilities in the County.

If successful, we hope to be meeting with investors by the end of 2020 for discussions on new agricultural processing plants that could bring new jobs and dollars into the County for future prosperity.

Work also continues through the Battle River Economic Opportunities Committee to help develop the private sectors locally, with business coaching, succession planning, capacity building and business plan development to name a few.

This regional project goes beyond the County’s borders and includes our partners in Flagstaff County, and communities of Forestburg, Castor, Coronation, Halkirk and Heisler.

We hope there will be value to local businesses that take advantage of the programs currently being developed.

Industrial activity that is also on the horizon includes the completion of a new pipeline that spanned the County this year from Interpipeline, as well as announcements from ATCO about a new transmission line project that could take place by 2022, and a new wind farm that could be approaching the County for permits in the New Year.

All of these projects have potential impacts, be they positive or negative, to families in the region.

The County is here to listen to concerns and involve ratepayers in discussions along the way. Looking forward to much progress in the New Year, and we’ll see you out there.

Stan Schulmeister

Reeve, County of Paintearth

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