CARSTAIRS - Newly re-elected Carstairs mayor Lance Colby says he sees many good opportunities and some challenges facing the municipality over the next four years.
Colby was acclaimed as mayor for a fourth term on Sept. 20. He says he’s pleased to be given a chance to continue serving the community.
Attracting new businesses and commercial development to town will be priority for the new council, he said.
“We are always looking at the development side our town and how we can continue to grow in this environment,” said Colby. “We have a lot of developers looking at us and wanting to come in, so I think that is going to one of our main goals.
“We are still in that commuter community (mode) and we have to somehow attract more commercial and industrial to our town. That has been a problem because of our proximity to Calgary, to Airdrie, to Olds where the box stores and everybody else is right now.
“As we reach the 5,000 population mark we will have a stronger base that can support businesses and have the people who can work in them. So we are hoping that will help and that as we get bigger other stores and industrial people will see that we have a base of people that we can draw from to work in their businesses.”
Seeing a number of large infrastructure projects to completion during the next term will also be a priority for the new council, he said.
“Our challenge will be making sure that we have the infrastructure there that can meet the growth that is going to come to Carstairs,” he said.
“In the long-term it’s a matter of finishing off road paving in our town and our sidewalks and making sure infrastructure is up to par everywhere in town.
“We have done a great number of streets and we have a few left, cul-de-sacs and streets and sidewalks. There is not a whole bunch left to do so it would be rotating through that again to make sure that we keep our infrastructure up and well maintained.”
Keeping the water and wastewater systems working well will of course be important to municipality, he said.
“As we grow we have to keep track of our lagoons and water reservoir and make sure everything is good that way,” he said.
Completing the new fire hall and getting it up and running will be a priority for early in 2022, he said.
Dealing with future policing needs will also be on the agenda for the next council, he said.
“Another thing will be the RCMP and policing because we are going to have the (population) numbers probably next year or the year after so that is going to force us to go into it,” he said.
“We are paying now, but we will have to have a detachment. So we are going to have to have three or four officers. That will be into some negotiations because we will have to get a building or work something out with Didsbury.
“Of course we don’t want to have to have cells or any of that stuff so that will be in the negotiations with the RCMP down the road. That’s another thing that we have to look at.”
Working with neighbouring municipalities, including Mountain View County, will certainly be important for the town over the next four years, he said.
“I want to continue our relationship with the county and all the towns,” he said. “That is critical in our area. We have to work together and help each other out when needed. It’s something that we will keep on our main agenda, working with the town and county.”