Municipal District of Bonnyville Reeve Greg Sawchuk said the recent all-day meeting with City of Cold Lake Council is the first step of many to increase regional cooperation and strengthen the region.
Sawchuk said M.D. Council spent eight hours touring Cold Lake facilities to gain a better understanding of the issues facing the city and the vision its Council is focused on for the municipality’s future. “After the tour, the two Councils had supper and talked about a number of ways we can cooperate and what projects could be prioritized to strengthen the region. Both Councils are looking at recreation, tourism and economic development initiatives that are beneficial to the region.”
The two Councils travelled on a city bus to facilities such as the Energy Centre, Cold Lake RCMP Detachment, Lakeland Humane Society, Fire Hall, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and the Cold Lake Golf and Winter Club. “We talked about how each facility is used, the levels of funding for the facilities and how many M.D. residents benefit from the programs in the facilities. Cold Lake Council also talked about the future expansion of such facilities as the Energy Centre and the Marina.”
Sawchuk said the biggest surprise on the tour was the cramped quarters in the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment. “We talked about the need for more RCMP officers to deal with the increase in crime in the area, but one of the first priorities is to expand the detachment building to accommodate present and future members. Space is at a premium.”
Calling it a productive day, Sawchuk said both Councils will now go back to prioritize project lists. “With the new funding model for ID 349 (Cold Lake Air Weapons Range) regional municipalities need to work together to develop initiatives that can be funded by the $6 million set aside by the province. M.D. Council will be talking to all municipalities in the region to discuss priority projects.”