Fort Saskatchewan council has already bought land for a new school, approved new change rooms at Habour Pool and more big decisions are on the way.
Council was sworn in last October and following that was six days of orientation, then budget and regular council meetings.
“I think everybody is fairing really well. It’s a huge learning curve for the new council. I always say it usually takes one term for people to really fully understand rolls, responsibilities, the decisions that they’re making and that’s why its nice to have some experience on council as well because they can provide some information, what it’s like to do this, or what are some consequences,” said mayor Gale Katchur.
Main topics they have discussed up to this point in time is the new solid waste, municipal operating grants, passing budget, planning for their strategic visioning session and approving the additional funds for the change rooms at Harbour Pool.
They are talking about cannabis and it’s impact to the area, the water leak adjustment program, plus they rezoned land in the city’s industrial area.
“That’s going to be big, because that’s going to mean we’re going to have more light-medium industrial businesses coming to Fort Saskatchewan,” said Katchur.
Another big step forward was purchasing land for a new school in Westpark.
“That’s huge news. You know what, this council has already made a lot of big decisions and there’s a lot more big ones to come in the very next few months,” she noted.
Those decisions include: outstanding items from previous council meetings, property tax policy, the Curling Club operations, vision zero, looking at their service levels, the water meter read enhancement program, whether to have committee of the whole meetings, talking about their meeting procedures bylaw as well as whether they want a council finance committee.
Council has also talked about the Fort Gymnastics long term plan and what they want to do for them, they also have talked about the municipal operating grants for non-profits policy and what that will look like.
“I’m very impressed with this council so far and I just want to give them kudos for really listening, asking great questions and voting according to their hearts,” added Katchur.
She described one of the biggest challenges councillors face, is putting a motion forward and having it defeated.
“That always stings the first time it happens, so it’s just having everybody understand that motions aren’t personal and everybody needs to vote what they believe is right for the community. We want to ensure everybody has the confidence to test the waters with their motions, but understand that sometimes they’re just not going to be supported,” said Katchur.
They have a lot of information and decisions to make over the next four years.
Katchur is looking forward to getting the skate park going and officially opening Taurus Field.