Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely attended council on Sept. 5 to extend a helping hand.
Lovely hopes to attend Bashaw events regularly in the future to make the community a priority.
On top of this, every two weeks she plans on creating events within the constituency, some of which involve provincial ministers to create a stronger connection between residents and ministers.
“I’m available and I’d like to come out as many times as you would like to have me here. I want to make sure I am available for you and that if you have any concerns that I can pass those on,” said Lovely.
Mayor Penny Shantz asked Lovely on behalf of Bashaw’s librarian about the status of libraries and their funding as imminent budget cuts become top of mind.
“I was in the library the minute that our librarian Cindy received the letter for the 50 per cent funding because she had heard that there was a bit of a crisis with funding for libraries,” said Shantz.
“The NDP would like to have you believe that,” said Lovely.
Council commended their librarian on her hard work keeping the library running smoothly.
“The libraries have really become a focal point in the rural communities because that is where the internet is but that’s the hub so we need to make sure that people always feel welcome and have access to the information that they need there and that they are supported,” said Lovely.
Council brought certain topics to the MLA’s attention like Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding, an important part of any rural centre’s yearly budget, as well as rural crime and doctor retention within the area.
Bashaw strategic plan
Brian Austrum, a contracted planning consultant for the town, sent a revised version of Bashaw’s strategic plan.
This plan is reviewed each year and helps keep council’s priorities on the forefront.
It also gives staff a way to stay focused on these priorities.
Website redesign and the Bashaw facility assessment has been identified as important.
Business attraction and retention, affordability within town, ensuring existing infrastructure is maintained, making municipal buildings more energy-efficient, fostering improved support for volunteers.
For the website, several ideas have been zeroed in on.
A business directory was mentioned to help attract out-of-towners as the website is the first place they check to learn more.
It would encourage niche businesses to join too.
Council will formally adopt this version of the strategic plan at the next meeting.
Local Intel website presentation
Steve Kirby, VP of sales and partnerships with website company Local Intel, conducted an over-the-phone presentation on creating a user-friendly, smaller municipality website.
He went over design, functional settings, tools directly embedded into the website and more.
The company caters to populations as small as 450 people to as large as Calgary and Seattle.
“We try to make it as simple and easy as possible – remove barriers as best we can for these communities [by making it] straightforward and easy to implement,” said Kirby.
During the discussion, Coun. Rob McDonald suggested the town invite business owners for an evening to learn about the reasons why they chose and continue to choose Bashaw as a place for their skills and services.
Council passed the final readings at the meeting, officially allowing businesses to obtain and store fireworks with the right paperwork completed.
All businesses interested must have proof of compliance from the Canadian National Fireworks Association and is subject to further on-going compliance requests from the town if they ask.