DIDSBURY – Didsbury mayor Rhonda Hunter says she is optimistic for the town and community going into 2020.
In a year-end interview, Hunter says projects now underway and new ones coming up will promote Didsbury and help move it forward.
The town intends to work closely with developers and other stakeholders in the new year for the overall benefit of the community, she said.
“Everybody’s got the same challenges,” she said. “We are trying to promote economic development. To me I think we have all of the right tools in place and especially now with our new CAO we are very excited. He’s got a strong development background.
“We have a lot of opportunity. It’s a matter of that spinoff happening for us. I’ve got a feeling that 2020 might be a little slow in growth but will certainly be positive, and that we will all get there.”
Promoting tourism and encouraging business projects will be priorities for council in 2020, she said.
“The economic development advisory committee that we’ve formed with the chamber will have a great role. Now we will ask members of the public to also become involved.
“That’s a great role for our locals, to help set the direction for Didsbury, with all their expertise as business people, developers, business owners. It’s all positive and we just have to continue doing what we’re doing.”
The town will be strengthening its relationship with the chamber of commerce, the library, the museum and other organizations in 2020, she said.
“These are all groups that we work with,” she said.
Making sure the town remains attractive to new families will also be a priority, she said.
That will be done by supporting schools, health facilities and other amenities, she said.
“The more you can offer the better. We are a welcoming, positive town,” she said.
Keeping taxes competitive with other communities will also be a goal of council in 2020.
The municipality has already made provisions regarding the new provincial policing model. The town will start paying on April 1.
“We’re already prepared for that so the new policing model won’t affect us much,” she said.
The mayor plans to meet with local health-care providers in the coming weeks to discuss possible challenges, she said.
“I believe we have a really great (health-care) base in Didsbury,” she said. “Our hospital is one of the best amenities we have here. It’s probably serving 100,000 people or more every year. We don’t struggle with doctors right now but we never want to be in a position where we do.”
Town council will be keeping in touch with area MLAs and other area municipal leaders in 2020, she said.