With the slowdown in the oil patch the City of Cold Lake and the Town of Bonnyville are ready to take advantage of any available fast-tracked dollars from the Federal Government.
“Many of our residents are feeling these hard economic times and I know our councils are committed to doing anything possible to lessen the impact,” Town of Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski said.
“Everyone in our region knows someone – some family – that has been impacted by the cutbacks industry is faced with,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland added. “It’s a scary time for a lot of people. Any Federal help would be much appreciated and well used.”
With the oil and gas industry as the number one employer in the region, both Councils have anticipated a tough year for residents and committed themselves to minimal tax increases while moving ahead with capital plans. Capital projects in 2016 include water and sewer projects, major road work, storm water facilities and recreational facilities.
“We are going to do our best not to raise property taxes when many families have taken a major hit to their finances,” Sobolewski said. “At the same time, we will continue with our infrastructure projects to keep as many people as possible working, and to make sure our region is well positioned for the next boom. We’ve been in similar situations before and we know how to weather the storm.”
Copeland added that communities in the region are accustomed to planning projects well in advance, in part to take advantage of Federal and Provincial programs that may become available.
“The Cold Lake Oil Sands region doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves as a major source of wealth for our country, but when you take a look at the resources coming out of this area, you realize how important it is,” Copeland said. “At the same time, we are very exposed to the effects of the market. Both ups and downs have their challenges for a smaller community like ours, and the key to overcoming them is being prepared. We hope that the opportunity to access Federal dollars comes our way. Cold Lake and Bonnyville are ready.”
*Press Release from the City of Cold Lake