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Mayor looks to 2011

Sponsoring the 2010 Alberta Winter Games stands out as one of the best accomplishments of the year for Town of Bonnyville Mayor Ernie Isley.

Sponsoring the 2010 Alberta Winter Games stands out as one of the best accomplishments of the year for Town of Bonnyville Mayor Ernie Isley.

“I would say that was a tremendous example of three communities coming together,” he said, adding that 4 Wing “played a very, very significant role.”

The success of the 2010 Winter Games helped the Town decide to pursue the 2013 Alberta Summer Games. The Town recently announced its intentions to apply to host the Western Canadian Games in 2015.

Council filed a letter of intent to pursue both games, but will only host one if accepted to both. Isley said getting the 2013 bid will depend on how competitive other bids are in the province, as that could influence the decision to award Bonnyville the Games in the wake of the 2010 Winter Games.

Cold Lake decided not to join the application for the 2013 Games, but responded favourably to a joint bid for the 2015 Western Canadian Games.

The benefit is not only the economic effect of thousands of visitors who come during the event, but also the visitors who return after getting exposed to the region, said Isley.

Other accomplishments in the past year include getting the RCMP barracks under construction and starting the Gateway industrial subdivision on the west side of Bonnyville, said Isley.

Council also approved third reading of the East Gate Development area structure plan proposed by Envision Ventures at a Dec. 15 council meeting.

The mixed commercial and residential development “would be probably the most important thing that could happen in the town” in 2011, said Isley.

The plan's inclusion of ready-to-move homes will help meet the need for lower priced starter homes, he added.

Another big project this coming year will be the upgrading of 54th Ave. west of Highway 41 to 66th St., a $4.5 million project helped by a provincial resource road grant.

Town council also wants to get working on phase two of the Centennial Centre, which would include a pool, water park and theatre. Isley said he'd like to start the discussion to determine what the expansion should include and when it should start.