BOWDEN/INNISFAIL — Innisfail and Bowden town councils plan to get together Feb. 9 in a get-acquainted session and to discuss matters of mutual interest.
The invitation was conveyed from the Town of Innisfail in a letter from Cara Cochrane, Innisfail’s executive assistant, to Arno Glover, assistant to Bowden chief administrative officer Greg Skotheim.
Bowden council received it during their Jan. 10 meeting.
“The engagement is considered a gesture of good will and perhaps exploration of community initiatives that serves the mandates of both the Town of Bowden and the Town of Innisfail,” the letter said.
Council unanimously passed a motion to attend and have administrative staff work out the details with Innisfail officials.
Todd Becker, the chief administrative officer for the Town of Innisfail, said the meeting would be “a supper-type of engagement” and not a formal council meeting.
“It’s an informal engagement just to learn and understand our neighbours. What is going on with each council. Common themes. How do you deal with this? It’s more of a goodwill engagement,” said Becker.
He too said no date has yet been chosen for the meeting but it should happen within a month. He said his office will reach out to Bowden administration to set up a time and place.
Town of Innisfail Mayor Jean Barclay said in her past term as a town councillor she and her colleagues did meet with Penhold town council and hoped to meet other regional councils but those plans were derailed by the COVID pandemic.
Barclay said she’s hoping to talk to members of Bowden town council about issues of mutual interest and concern.
“When we meet with regional councils, we want to find common ground, see what potential services can be shared. I see economic development being likely at the top of the agenda,” said Barclay.
“We all share each other’s roads and facilities, so we need to work together and understand where everyone is at and how we can do things better for our residents.”
And she said COVID, and how each community is handling it, could also be discussed.
“Potentially. I don’t know what will be on the agenda. We will see when that comes,” said Barclay. “Obviously, it (COVID) is impacting our communities and we’re seeing changes all the time. We will see how that goes.”
With files from Johnnie Bachusky