By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
A recommendation was brought forward by Town of Coaldale Community Services Manager Stephanie Wierl at a recent council meeting in regards to the development of neighbourhood associations in the town.
The recommendation stated — council, on the condition of budget approval through the 2016 budget process, direct administration to develop neighbourhood associations and further support those associations through staffing support on an annual basis.
Wierl noted the recent report submitted to council for consideration is in the very preliminary stages and nothing has been approved to move forward until budget deliberations are completed.
“Council has approved the concept, dependent on budget talks. If all gets approved in the coming weeks, we will be putting together a communications strategy surrounding this project,” she said.
Neighbourhood associations, it was stated in the report, are not a new concept and Coaldale already has in place the Cottonwood Neighbourhood Safety Team.
The report added neighbourhood associations create social infrastructure and the capacity for intentional engagement for neighbours to get together beyond their front door. The report stated the town’s Community Services Department would like to begin to create community-wide capacity and support the development and creation of various neighbourhood associations around town by seeking out neighbourhood connectors and champions.
A small budget of $1,500, the report noted, has been included in the Community Services Department operating budget in order to begin supporting the creation and maintenance of neighbourhood associations in Coaldale.
These dollars, the report added, will help host community meetings and to promote this new initiative.