Tuesday, April 21, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 16 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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A local volunteer committee has been taking a close look at the Crowsnest Pass, and they have some ideas about how to revitalize the Pass and build a sustainable community. On Tuesday, April 14, the committee presented their ideas to council, hoping to start the process of building momentum to revitalize the community.
Shane Stewart, co-chair, represented the committee. Shar Lazzarotto sits as the other co-chair. The Crowsnest Revitalization Initiative, said Stewart, was conceived through Community Futures.
When looking at the Pass, said Stewart, the committee saw some very disturbing statistics. He noted that only 15 percent of the municipal tax base is generated from commercal properties, compared to 30-plus percent in neighbouring communities of comparable size.
The official population of the Pass declined 8.2 percent between 2001 and 2006, he said, while Alberta as a whole grew 10.6 percent in the same period.
“We don’t want to focus on all the doom and gloom,” said Stewart. “We will overcome these issues.” But the Pass needs to be proactive, he said, to attract people and businesses, to present ourselves better to the outside world, and to sustain ourselves into the future.
“The community needs to invest in itself,” he said. “We need to change, and we need to change proactively. We need to undertake a coordinated effort, starting now, to clean up our community.”
This is tied to a lot of the other issues facing our community, including employment, culture, and the environment. The committee examined these and other issues to provide suggestions about directions the Pass can consider.
Stewart told council that the community needs to revitalize its image through a unified effort, in a number of different areas. The committee made a number of recommendations as a starting point for further discussion and perhaps to work toward more detailed plans.
 
The committee supported expanding the Town Rounder service to provide transportation to the entire community. They also recommended appointing an overall local fire chief to ensure coordination of fire protection and resources.
They suggested centralizing Public Works in one location, such as the Frank Industrial Park, to cut back on costs and coordinate equipment, with possibly a second smaller shop in Coleman to handle the west end of the municipality.
In Line

“The community needs to invest in itself.”

- Shane Stewart  
In Line
Other recommendations included supporting upgrades at the York Creek Lodge, building perpetually affordable housing, hiring a new Economic Development Officer, appointing an overall festival and events coordinator, and creating architectural controls for buildings and signs. Stewart suggested cleaning up and coordinating older signs to present a better face on the highway.
The committee suggested stronger enforcement of municipal bylaws, petitioning the CPR to clean up the old rails left near their tracks, and working with Alberta Transportation to build wildlife over- and under-passes along Highway 3.
The municipality should work with people to clean up messes on their properties, said Stewart, and provide visual buffers where this is not possible.
Council appeared receptive of many of the ideas, but noted that there is no plan on how to make them possible. Stewart said that they hope to work on creating a usable document with specific suggestions in the near future.
Other committee members are Barb Townsend, Debbie Reeves, Jenice Smith, Rick and Judy Cooke, Gordon Lundy, Bill Kovach, Barb Kelly, Christa Peters, Fred Bradley, Lowry Toombs, Richard Buckle, and Susan Wagner.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 16 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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