Wheat­land County sees op­por­tu­nity for new year

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Terri Hux­ley The Drumheller Mail

The Mail chat­ted with Glenn Koester, Reeve of Wheat­land County, on how things are shap­ing up in the area south of Drumheller.

Koester started off by say­ing he was elated to have the wa­ter lines run­ning smoothly in Gle­ichen and is now fo­cus­ing at­ten­tion on Rock­y­ford.

“It should be ready to go there come April,” said Koester. “That would come to­gether re­ally fast, we worked on it for a few years but now it’s com­ing to­gether and we got our fund­ing.”

They are also look­ing at ser­vic­ing and pro­vid­ing wa­ter to Carse­land with an area struc­ture plan al­ready in place.

“If peo­ple want to de­velop there, they have a nice idea of what is go­ing on,” said Koester. Koester ex­plained that they are ‘mostly caught up’ on all ma­jor projects.

“We have a ten-year paving pro­gram and a ten-year road pro­gram where they’re both still hum­ming along nicely,” said Koester.

A part of Wheat­land County has re­cently been man­dated to the Cal­gary Metropoli­tan Re­gional Board. This can be seen as a chal­lenge in the eyes of the county as there are mone­tary con­cerns and how much say the county will have com­pared to the city of Cal­gary.

“... we have to come up with a growth plan for around Cal­gary … so that is go­ing to be a chal­lenge,” Koester said. “Who is go­ing to pay for this plan? We are a small player, we have 1,500 peo­ple in the area [of im­por­tance].”

Wheat­land County is wel­com­ing five new coun­cil­lors to com­plete the coun­cil of seven in­clud­ing the reeve. Koester has been act­ing as reeve for the past seven years.

Af­ter a few months of learn­ing, coun­cil will tackle the strate­gic plan for the area. This al­lows coun­cil to fo­cus on cer­tain goals through­out the cur­rent year and their four-year ten­ure.

“The strate­gic plan is go­ing to be a neat doc­u­ment when it gets ac­cepted by coun­cil,” con­tin­ued Koester. “That’ll lay­out what coun­cil wants to do for the next four years so that is pretty ex­cit­ing.”

Over­all, the county is ready to start a fresh new year.

“We have a good coun­cil, I’m very ex­cited for it,” said Koester.

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