Fort Saskatchewan mayor Gale Katchur recently reflected on what 2018 brought to the city.
She stated that, while council had to make some tough decisions, it was a good year overall.
One of their biggest accomplishments of 2018 was the shift to a 24-hour full-time firefighting service. Other notable projects included the opening of the Taurus Field and the completion of the curling club.
"Those were some of our major ones that stand out for me."
Another accomplishment for the year was the annexation agreement with Strathcona County, enabling Fort Saskatchewan to add 952 hectares of land to the city.
Of course, the city had to face some challenges during the year as well. Katchur claimed the biggest struggle was trying to determine the budget for 2019. The new 24-hour firefighting service alone required a two percent tax increase. The total increase for the new year was 2.82 per cent.
She touched on the economy being unpredictable, which has worried many residents and caused some people to lose jobs.
"I just think overall Fort Saskatchewan had a very successful 2018. We can dwell on the negatives, but it's better to look at the positives and try and move forward and just persevere through any adversity."
Council expects to do a lot of planning throughout 2019. They want to focus on the Dow Centennial Centre and ask residents about adding a performance arena.
Katchur added the city plans to continue working collaboratively with Strathcona County in the future. Both councils have expressed interest in having transit that will connect the two municipalities.
"It's not so much about looking back as it is about looking forward, seeing where we can do better for our citizens and just continuing to make Fort Saskatchewan the best place to work, live, play and invest in," Katchur summarized. "I'm very excited about what 2019 has to offer."