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Wednesday , 28 July 2021

Cold Lake’s future to be discussed at open house

Will Cold Lake be sustainable in 2020?

That’s the theme of the city’s open house discussion next Wednesday, December 11 at Lakeland Inn.

The sustainability of Cold Lake is becoming a more relevant topic again with the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range money undecided and a decision that could change the city’s outlook expected before the year is out.

City council with administration will answer questions and provide “interesting” information for residents,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

“We haven’t done one of these in a while…we were doing them quite regularly and I think last year we’ve probably didn’t have one, but I think we want to bring people up to speed,” said Mayor Craig Copeland on The Morning After.

“The big topic in our community is the unknown for the Air Weapons Range funding…..right now it is the most significant issue for the City of Cold Lake taxpayers,” he said.

“We just want to bring everybody up to speed and talk about the capital items that we would like to keep moving…We’ve got a lot of projects that we need to be addressed and just sort of bring everybody up to speed on what we have spent that ID 349 money on and how it’s made a difference in our community.”

Copeland went over figures on tax assessments in Cold Lake compared to other communities.

“A lot of people don’t know that for the city residents in downtown commercial, we’re about an 85 per cent residential-based assessment. A lot of urban municipalities are kind of 70-75 per cent. Some are better than that, but certainly, we’re at 85 per cent. We bring in just over $21 million of taxes that operate our city, so when you look at 15,000 people, you’re averaging about just over $130 per person to operate your city.

“Then you have your user fees water, sewer garbage, etc. That’s what basically operates your city. And so bringing in some industrial taxes from the industry and pipeline companies like Cenovus, Husky, CNRL, that operate on the range [CLAWR] has really given us a lift. We’re running about $3,300-3,400 per capita, operating this city and are able to do a lot of good work,” he said.

“If people want to do a lot of research go out and see there are other municipalities that by far have much more operating spending per capita than us. But that’s a great number for an urban community, very similar to say Strathcona County and Sherwood Park. It’s allowed us to really invest in our community and a lot of urbans out there are operating at about 1000 to 1300 per capita, it is a struggle for anybody to do some really good investment in their community.”

There are two presentation times for the open house.

Residents can RSVP for the 11:30am-1:00pm presentation with soup and sandwich lunch (cost $7) or go to the free drop-in session from 5:00pm-8:00pm.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.