Fort Saskatchewan's mayor Gale Katchur revealed; the state of the city.
Katchur gave the State of the City address at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday (Feb.7).
“The theme was really addressing the change going on in our community for the last number of years and that change is going to continue,” said Katchur.
The city is in a strong financial position, with Katchur projecting their total cumulative debt to drop to $37.9-million, a five per cent reduction over last year.
Katchur said, while many regions are just coming out of a downturn in 2017, Fort Saskatchewan had lower unemployment, higher employment and higher employment participation rates than Edmonton, Calgary, their metropolitan regions, the provincial average and the Canadian average.
She believed the city would continue to outperform in these areas.
This year, council will address a property tax policy to help provide clarity on how council applies property taxes across the different classes of taxpayers within the area.
“I think the top three projects are going to be the strategic planning, that we need to talk about what comes next as far as our capital projects, the Fort report (is another top project) and I would encourage everybody to get on and Google and make your requests or concerns through the Fort report, because you’ll get quicker response times and lastly, customer service,” said Katchur.
The Fort report is a service and request tracker system, allowing residents and staff to report concerns or requests. It can be found on the city's website.
She told the crowd that since 2006, the Fort has grown over 70 per cent, more than 10,000 residents.
Katchur also previewed a number of upcoming projects including the opening of Taurus Field, industrial expansion and the twinning of Highway 15.
Phase one, twinning of the highway from Edmonton to the Highway 15/37 intersection will take place in 2018. Phase two, which is the twinning of the bridge, will be tendered this fall.
“I think the real message that comes out is, life is good in Fort Saskatchewan and we are blessed to live in a community such as ours.”