SUNDRE — An incumbent councillor who has served for three terms is optimistic about the potential to grow the town’s commercial sector.
“The most important thing for our town to be sustainable, is to continue lowering our residential tax base and increasing our industrial and business tax base,” said Paul Isaac, who volunteers as a referee for minor hockey and works for GTI Petroleum.
“That has started happening over the last term or two that I’ve been on, and I’d like to see that continue in order to see our town grow so that we can attract more and more families,” said Isaac.
The veteran councillor identified among his primary concerns any hurdles that might hamper future growth.
“What’s been on our plate for the full three terms I’ve been here, is the fear of not being able to have businesses or houses built because of our lagoon system situation,” he said.
With the municipality having at one point been informed by the provincial government that the wastewater treatment facility was close to reaching its capacity, that issue seems to finally almost be resolved following years of work through different administrations, he said.
With a private company that will be constructing the facility’s expansion at its own risk, facilitated by a substantial grant of $7.5 million from the provincial government that will cover the bulk of the overall roughly $11-million expense, Isaac expressed optimism for the potential opportunities that will be opened up.
“We have enough (capacity) now to sustain ourselves for almost doubled growth, which is absolutely a huge windfall for the Town of Sundre,” he said.
This will enable developers to be even more active than they have been over the past six months to a year, he said.
“We need to have more businesses move to town,” he said, adding he also considers it important to do more to entice and accommodate young families as well as retirees.
“There’s an awful lot of opportunities that Sundre is on the cusp of,” and Isaac said he wants to see the community expand its potential.
With many new faces submitting nominations this election, Isaac hopes there will be a level of unity among council regardless of who is elected.
“One of the toughest things, for an elected official, is understanding the role that you play,” he said.
“It’s really crucial that those that are voting really understand the character of the person running. Sometimes people run for agendas, and sometimes people don’t have agendas.”
Personal agendas, he added, might not necessarily benefit the municipality.
“One of the things I’ve learned over my three terms, is the importance of debating in as positive a manner as you can. And that doesn’t always happen,” he said, adding this can hamper efforts to help the town grow.
“I really hope that people take a look at the character of those who are running and put together a solid team.”