By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Phase one of Coaldale’s new Strategic Plan has been approved by council. The document outlines six key priorities which will provide a framework for addressing a number of goals and concerns in the coming months and years. With plenty of projects, developments, and growth on the horizon, the plan aims to synthesize a strong and cohesive vision for the town.
1) According to the report, the new strategic plan will include an emphasis on service excellence, and will prioritize sustainable ways to provide municipal services, while centring on sustainability, infrastructure maintenance, and fiscal responsibility. Further to this, council and administration will aim to provide transparency and clarity with respect to service levels, and future planning.
2) The report acknowledges the massive potential for growth and development and is optimistic about future commerce opportunities. The report also aims to answer the call for more inclusive and affordable housing options for new residents and aging residents, and will identify and pursue grants and funding opportunities to catalyze economic growth for the town. In focusing on future economic prosperity, the strategic plan also addresses the need to strive for regulatory efficiencies to make Coaldale an attractive place for businesses to set up shop.
3) With a lot of discussions circulating in recent months over public safety and crime, the strategic plan will provide a framework for public safety which will ensure well-funded partnerships with Fire and Emergency services, and encourage, “strong collaboration between the Town’s Community Peace Officer Program and the RCMP to ensure community policing remains a key focus.”
4) Director of recreation and community services, Russ Tanner, has previously said many of the recreation facilities in Coaldale, “were built in the 70s and 80s and have not grown in line with the population growth of the community.” As a result, the new strategic plan outlines a clear focus on enhancing recreation infrastructure and working toward reaching a balance between residents’ desire for new or improved amenities and budgetary concerns.
5) According to the plan, “meaningful two-way dialogue,” will be a key objective as the Town strives to foster strong relationships with residents and local partners, centring respect, openness, and visibility in decision-making processes, and work in collaboration with local non-profits to ensure high standards of living.
6) The plan report highlights the importance of the community experience and vows to improve the quality of green spaces, continue to maintain an exciting ongoing event calendar, and work to establish public gathering spaces as the town grows.
The previous 2018-2021 strategic plan was adopted in 2018. Once passed, the new strategic plan will remain in effect until 2025.