August 2021 Ward 4 eNewsletter

Somehow July seemed to fly by in a whirl of activity.  With stores and restaurants opening once again, recreation facilities back in action, and concerts returning to normal, it has been a fantastic month.  Best of all, it is wonderful to see people’s faces once again as they venture out to enjoy the great outdoors.

While I expect that masks will continue to be worn by many, especially indoors, it feels good to know that the worst of it seems to have subsided concerning COVID-19.  Vaccinations in Strathcona County have surpassed 80% of the population with one of the highest rates in Alberta. As people continue to take the precautions needed, I hope that we will stay ahead of a potential fourth wave.  Working together, our future looks brighter than it did a few short months ago.  Stay safe everyone!

 

Italian Centre Shop Opens

On July 21 the much-anticipated Italian Centre Shop opened its doors in Sherwood Park.  What an incredible addition to the business community in Emerald Hills.  Situated in Ward 4, the Italian Centre has seen non-stop lineups since it opened.  Thanks to Edmonton entrepreneur Teresa Spinelli, this iconic store will undoubtedly draw visitors from across the region, increasing Strathcona County’s reputation as a destination centre for shoppers and tourists alike.

Interim Solutions Sought for Plus 55 Club

On June 29, Council suspended the rules allowing me to bring forward a motion requesting that Administration explore an interim solution to the space problems faced by the Plus 55 club.  For the past few years, the Plus 55 Club has experienced exponential growth and the current building no longer meets their needs.  Recognizing that a permanent solution takes time and will require broad consultation with seniors across the community, Council recognized that there is some urgency in finding an interim solution until the ultimate plan for a senior’s hub can be designed and built.

 

Council Moves forward with Plan to Implement Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations

On July 6, I brought forward a motion requesting that Administration bring forward a plan to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations that pertain to municipalities.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission outlined several actions specific to municipalities.  By September 14, Administration will return to Council with a plan outlining the actions that Strathcona County will undertake to ensure implementation.  

 This motion follows the updating of our Flag and Territorial Land Acknowledgement policies to include the flying of the Métis Nation and Treaty Six flags in Council Chambers and to acknowledge the territorial land on which Strathcona County resides.

Council Approves Bremner Sub-area Structure Plan

On July 20, Council approved the Bremner Sub-area structure plans for communities one and four.  Together these areas will accommodate up to 36,000 people as the growth nodes are built out over the next 20-30 years. Approval will allow developers to move forward with detailed design work and servicing of the area.

Bodega Tapas Bar by Sabor

July also saw the opening of a fabulous new restaurant on Baseline Road.  The Bodega Tapas Bar by Sabor adds much to the culinary scene of Sherwood Park and will attract visitors from the Edmonton Region as they come to taste the delights of this wonderful restaurant.  Welcome to Strathcona County where we hope that your restaurant will have a long and successful future.

RCMP Memorial Golf Tournament

On Wednesday, July 7 I had the pleasure of golfing for the first time this year in the RCMP Memorial Golf Tournament. Though I can’t say that I was overly successful on the links, it was a pleasure to get out golfing with some friends while supporting a great cause!

Ravenwood Music Festival

Congratulations to the Ravenwood group on organizing a successful summer festival on July 16-17, 2021.  While planning may have been a challenge given the uncertainty around re-opening, my hat goes off to this group who were not deterred and went ahead with the festival in a scaled-down format this year.  Best of all, it was wonderful to see live music once again in Strathcona County! Thanks to local artist, Tim Isberg, for a wonderful performance!

AUMA Municipal Leaders Caucus

On July 29 I had the opportunity to attend the first in-person regional meeting with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) in Wetaskiwin.  The highlight of the event was a presentation by Chief Erminskin and Chief Saddleback who talked about the residential school experience and the impact on their people.

Other highlights included a discussion on changes to the municipal funding framework, the upcoming municipal election including two provincial referendums and the senate vote. The best part of the day; however, was simply being able to connect with elected officials from across the region once again.

Edmonton – Strathcona County Footbridge

Strathcona County, along with the City of Edmonton and the River Valley Alliance (RVA), are partners in funding the planning, design, and construction of a new footbridge across the North Saskatchewan River. Located north of Sherwood Park and west of Legends Golf Course, this footbridge will link Edmonton to Strathcona County and connect to the trail systems within the North Saskatchewan River Valley. The Great Trail of Canada (Trans-Canada Trail) will connect to this pedestrian bridge through the local trail systems. This footbridge will improve access and connectivity, leading toward a continuous multi-use trail system in the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

Funding will be shared between the partners, with the River Valley Alliance picking up 2/3’s of the cost and the two municipalities sharing the remaining third. For more information on this project visit Edmonton Strathcona County Foot Bridge. 

Construction begins in Cambrian

After years of planning, construction has finally begun in Cambrian Crossing.  Strathcona County’s newest growth node is located just north of the Yellowhead and is bounded by Range-road 231 to the west and Highway 21 to the East.  At full buildout, this growth node will house approximately 11,000 people in over 3000 dwellings. The area substantially increases the availability of lots and will cater to homes or a wide variety of sizes creating a well-rounded new community within the urban growth area of Sherwood Park.

Planning includes three school sites, an urban town centre, and a variety of mixed-use commercial spaces.  The development will also trigger further growth in the light-medium industrial area to the west known as North of Yellowhead.

As construction begins, one of the early phases will see a new rail overpass to the east of the present roadway along the north of Cloverbar Road.

Festival Place Upgrades

Construction to replace the exterior cladding on Festival Place is underway.

This major upgrade involves re-insulation and replacing the existing stucco with new stucco and black panel accents. Repairs to the building envelope, stucco and downspouts will improve weatherproofing and correct water leakage issues. The exterior electrical and building lighting will be upgraded, and a new lighting feature added to display changing colours in various locations on the building.

Festival Place will be operational during construction. Temporary fencing and overhead protection will be installed around the building. Walkways around Festival Place will remain open, except for a short section at the northwest corner. When this section is closed, signage will direct pedestrians to nearby alternate routes. For everyone’s safety, visitors to the area are asked to follow all construction sites and detour signage.

The major work is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, with some “seasonal” portions to be finished in the spring of 2022.

New recreation planning tool supports community COVID recovery efforts

A new online tool will help plan visits to indoor recreation facilities.

Community members can now view online how busy select spaces are to help plan a visit to Millennium Place, Glen Allan Recreation Complex and Ardrossan Recreation Complex.

Facility capacity information is collected every two hours; real-time updates can be viewed at strathcona.ca/capacity. As data is collected, a historical view showing popular times will be displayed.

Strathcona County recognizes everyone’s comfort level will be different as we each adjust to changes and relaxed restrictions. The ability to access capacity information allows community members to find a facility and time that best suits their comfort level when returning to indoor recreation.

This online tool addresses a community need which has been identified in the Strathcona County 2020 COVID-19 Survey and in a recent national Leger poll regarding levels of comfort returning to indoor recreation facilities and activities.

Strathcona County recognizes changes in how we live, work and play can feel overwhelming. Everyone’s comfort level will be different, so please be respectful, kind and patient as people adjust.

Enjoying an Alberta Summer

 With restrictions easing across Alberta, we have had the pleasure of seeing our families once again.  With children and grandchildren home from Vancouver and Kelowna, it has been wonderful to get together after so many months apart.

We also ventured to Regina and Saskatoon to see our parents for the first time in over a year.  With my father turning 90 this fall but still in amazingly good health, my sons and I took a grandpa to Wood Mountain to the homestead where he was born.   What an amazing journey filled with some incredible stories from the past.  As Dad had not been back to the farm since about 1989, it was an incredible journey.

Back in Alberta, I was also able to take some time for a little hiking in Jasper, one of Alberta’s most iconic parks.  Though the haze from the forest fires in British Columbia threatened our visit, the skies cleared as we neared Jasper, allowing us to enjoy a fabulous hike above Maligne Canyon along the Opal Hills Trail.

Strathcona County Municipal Election

On Monday, October 18, 2021, Strathcona County residents will go to the polls to elect the next mayor and council. Please visit the county website at Election | Strathcona County for more information about the election or to learn about recent changes to the Local Authorities Election Act which came into effect in 2020.  Nomination forms can also be found on this page.

 

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