Just like any household, the City of Cold Lake has a list of things to do.
City council has passed their 2018 corporate strategic priorities, with a handful of projects residents will recognize.
Crime, the ID 349 agreement, the Inter-municipal Collaboration Framework, and other items were included on the upcoming strategic priorities dashboard.
Using a facilitator, the city determines which projects are dos and don'ts for the upcoming budget.
Brainstorming, they whittle it down to a list of five priorities.
Mayor Craig Copeland expanded on the items that made the 2018 top five.
Number one is the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range Agreement.
“The ID 349 funding has always been critical to us, and that's because we have been waiting for the government to transition ID 349 to the City of Cold Lake. That's why it's number one and it will remain number one, because we're still waiting for the province to follow the agreement in its intent,” Copeland expressed. “We're waiting for the minister to change his recent decision, and to have the city administer ID 349 like the agreement said.”
The Inter-municipal Collaboration Framework is second on council's priority list.
“I think that's an important one that all municipalities will have. It's mandated by the new changes to the Municipal Government Act (MGA). It will see municipalities work with their neighbours to develop a collaboration framework,” Copeland explained.
The city will be working with the MD of Bonnyville to create an agreement, which is why it has made the number two spot this year.
The third priority is crime prevention.
“Unless you've been living underneath a rock, crime was a huge issue during the municipal election, it remains an issue,” said Copeland.
Council has already allocated funding towards bringing an RCMP K-9 Unit to Cold Lake.
“Working with the RCMP staff sergeant and our MD of Bonnyville neighbours is going to be vital in dealing with the issue of crime prevention,” Copeland expressed.
It will also involve lobbying the justice minister on how criminals are sentenced when in court.
During their Tuesday, Nov. 28 council meeting, CAO Kevin Nagoya expressed how there is an “element that is beyond council's control, which is the criminal justice system and how loosely it's working right now.”
“Catch and release is the phrase that is being used by a lot of locals right now, and that's frustrating. Crime prevention is a great priority that, regionally, everyone can get behind, because so many people are victims of crime. It's very upsetting,” Copeland added.
Annexation made it to the fourth spot on council's list. They will be meeting with the MD of Bonnyville council for what Copeland described as a “wrap up” meeting before sending the proposal to the provincial government for final approval.
The last priority is bringing commercial air service to Cold Lake.
“It's a long file that we've been working on. It comes to a point where now we have to pitch it to various commercial operators to try and entice them to come to Cold Lake and area,” said Copeland. “This has been on council's list for a long time.”
Strategic priorities identified for advocacy work include the criminal justice system, creating a Town of Bonnyville liaison and Cold Lake First Nations liaison, and medical services.
“It's more advocacy work than it is action items for our community. It has shifted in a different direction on council's strategic priorities,” Nagoya said about medical services in Cold Lake.
By passing their 2018 strategic priorities, council has laid the groundwork for the upcoming year.
Nagoya said, “Narrowing the scope down a little bit and concentrating on a few, you can see progress and there are some action outcomes. Whether they shift as you go forward, at least we can get some items completed. It helps with morale on both sides of administration because we're achieving some of those actives and council can see some of the completion of the top priorities as well.”