Lloydminster City Council resumed sessions Tuesday and Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the city will be planning for the future in 2018.
Mayor Aalbers commended the city’s resilience to a tough economic year, especially in the oil and gas and agricultural sectors. He says Lloydminster will continue to face the challenge of an “ever-changing world.”
“We know that oil was for the longest time the mainstay of things and that’s certainly changed. As I talk to residents and business people we are a regional centre, and I think that’s what we need to portray ourselves as. We provide services and business opportunities on a much larger basis.”
Aalbers says many infrastructure projects will also be part of the city’s planning focus this year including addressing the new wastewater treatment plant in Lloydminster, which he says the city needs to “nail down one way or another” because of timelines set by the federal government and Environment Canada.
“The running start we’ve already taken is good communication with the two provincial governments. Communications have already happened this year and we’re waiting for further updates. This is one of the challenges as it is a bit of a waiting game because we’ve done everything we can do other than continuously let them know we’re still here.
Other infrastructure programs council will be working on include necessary updates to water lines, facilities and roadways in the city. Council also approved their budget for 2018, which Aalbers says shows the city’s commitment to maintaining and improving that in area. The budget will have a property tax increase of $6.5 million, which could be amended by resolution.
“There’s a couple parts to this. There’s the assessment that comes in and then we need to determine the mil rate. We’re also waiting to see what happens with the two provincial government’s budgets that will come out likely the end of March. Whether funding remains the same we’ll see. Hopefully an increase or do we face a decrease from provincial funding resources that we count on at the City.”
Aalbers says his biggest impact in 2017 was the connections he has made with the people of Lloydminster.