Enhancing health and recreation facilities top priority for town

Committed to boost the Town of Stettler’s role as a regional centre, council set three top priorities for 2010 to upgrade health care services, recreation facilities and expand economic development.

Committed to boost the Town of Stettler’s role as a regional centre, council set three top priorities for 2010 to upgrade health care services, recreation facilities and expand economic development.

Plans to improve Stettler Hospital and Care Centre, upgrade and expand Stettler Recreation Centre and Stettler Public Library and to encourage more economic development were defined as the top three priorities when council and staff recently reviewed the town’s strategic plan.

“We know Stettler is growing and the community will continue to grow so we have to ensure we have adequate facilities and services to meet a variety of needs,” said Mayor Dick Richards.

For improving the health care facility, the town has invited new Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky to tour the local facility.

“It is clear that the number-one issue is health care and we realize the importance of having top-quality facilities because Stettler is a regional hub for health care,” said Mayor Richards.

Stettler should also continue to be a hotbed for attracting physicians.

“We are one of the few communities in Alberta that is able to recruit and retain physicians,’ said Mayor Richards.

To upgrade the recreation centre, a user focus group will be established with a report due by Sept. 21.

To spur economic development, council will assess a new position of a marketing specialist, to promote the community and to attract and diversify manufacturing industry.

“Economic development is always in the best interest of the community,” said Mayor Richards.

“We have a lot of interest from businesses outside our area very interested in considering Stettler as a place to locate and do business,”

While reviewing the plan with key personnel, council also agreed to add five other priorities in the plan that includes steps to:

• Construct a sidewalk or pathway by Stettler Hospital.

• Communicate better with residents affected by annexation.

• Develop commercial recycling.

• Encourage an art and cultural festival.

• Plan to build new office building for Stettler RCMP.

To communicate with residents about annexation, council decided to wait until final approval has been granted by the provincial Municipal Government Board which could happen this summer after a public hearing in Stettler on March 3.