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    News Release

    For Immediate Release

    May 6, 2024

    Westlock Regional Economic and Development Action Committee (WREDAC) Unveils Regional Economic Brand

    Westlock, AB – Following a marketing and branding project led by the Westlock Regional Economic and Development Action Committee (WREDAC), we are officially launching as the Westlock Economic Region. This new brand strengthens the relationship between regional partners and positions our region as the heart and hub of Alberta agriculture.

    The new brand highlights our region as an attractive investment destination with unlimited opportunities. Together, the Village of Clyde, Westlock County, and the Town of Westlock are committed to collaborating to elevate the Westlock region and embrace new opportunities and projects, including the attraction of economic opportunities and skilled workers to the area.

    “We are excited about this new regional identity and the opportunities it presents for our region," Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Westlock. "We are committed to building strong relationships with our partners and showcasing the strengths of our region. Westlock is a hub of the region that connects urban and rural areas, and we welcome everyone to come and be a part of our growing community. The region is poised for growth and development, and this is the next step towards realizing its full potential."

    “The Westlock Economic Region brand launch is an important milestone in our efforts to promote growth and prosperity.” Jaye Parrent, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Clyde.” We are proud to participate in this initiative, which highlights our region's strengths and opens doors to new possibilities and partnerships that will benefit our community and the region.”

    “Westlock County is proud to be part of this collaboration, and this new regional brand reinforces our shared commitment to economic development and innovation.” Tony Kulbisky, Chief Administrative Officer, Westlock County. “Our opportunities improve when the region hunts as a pack, attracting investments and skilled workers to one of us benefits all of us.”

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock

    Jaye Parrent, Chief Administrative Officer
    Village of Clyde

    Tony Kulbisky, Chief Administrative Officer
    Westlock County

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    News Release

    For Immediate Release

    Thursday, February 22, 2024

     

    Community Votes in Favour of Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw

    Westlock, AB – On Thursday, February 22, 2024, Town of Westlock residents voted in favour of a proposed Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw, which now forbids the Town from flying non-governmental flags on municipal flagpoles or painting local crosswalks in a manner other than in a white laddered pattern.

    The plebiscite resulted from a resident-initiated petition brought before Town Council in October 2023. In line with the provincial Municipal Government Act, Council was required to either pass the Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw or refer it to a binding community vote. Stating opposition to the proposed bylaw, Council referred it to plebiscite, at which time residents were asked the following question:

    Do you agree that: Only Federal, Provincial and Municipal flags may be flown on flagpoles on Town of Westlock municipal property, all crosswalks in the Town of Westlock must be the standard white striped pattern between two parallel white lines, and the existing rainbow coloured crosswalk in the Town of Westlock be removed.

    With the majority of the vote, residents voted ‘Yes’ to this question.

    “Council did not support the proposed Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw, as we felt it went against our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion,” said Mayor Jon Kramer. “This plebiscite is binding, and as such, the bylaw does restrict how we are able to show this commitment. However, we will continue to find ways to embrace those in our community who need a helping hand, including marginalized groups. Equity is the reason we require wheelchair accessible parking; it is why we are developing an accessible playground; and yes, it is the reason we show support to marginalized groups like our local 2SLGBTQ+ community. That won’t stop, it will just take on a different form. We know the Town of Westlock is a welcoming community and that will not change.”

    With plebiscite results now verified, the bylaw will be implemented.

    “The Town of Westlock followed legislation in the Municipal Government Act in holding the plebiscite, meeting all requirements associated with a resident petition that resulted in the proposed bylaw,” said Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Westlock. “Thank you to the community for taking part in this vote, and to our staff who ensured this was a seamless process from start to finish.”

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    780-350-2100

    Jon Kramer, Mayor
    780-349-4444                  

    News Release

    For Immediate Release

    February 19, 2024

    Town of Westlock Announces Progress in Addressing Housing Shortages with Funding from CMHC Housing Accelerator Fund

    Westlock, AB – The Town of Westlock is happy to announce its successful application to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF). The achievement of securing this funding, a result of Council's directive from the July 10, 2023, Regular Meeting, reflects our ongoing commitment to immediate and long-term housing solutions. With $1.1 million in funding released over four years, we will focus on implementing the elements of our Housing Action Plan.

    The Housing Action Plan consists of several initiatives, including the Residential Development Incentive Program, which will offer financial incentives for select housing types in key areas of Westlock. The Secondary, Garden and Garage Suite Program will encourage the development of secondary units in high-impact areas, supported by bylaw amendments and targeted financial grants. Additionally, the Aspendale Area Structure Plan will unlock future residential development opportunities in the Aspendale neighbourhood, and the Southview Residential Subdivision Project will integrate new residential lots into an existing community.

    We'll also continue our work on the Housing Policy Framework Improvements, focusing on the most critical policy changes to support varied housing needs and affordability. Furthermore, an e-permitting system will be implemented to streamline the housing development application process, ensuring efficiency and transparency.

    "These initiatives, aligned with the objectives of the HAF, underscore Westlock's proactive and flexible approach to creating a sustainable and inclusive housing environment," said Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer. "We are dedicated to our community and confident that these focused initiatives will bring significant benefits to our residents at all life stages and economic situations."

    "Being awarded the Housing Accelerator Fund is a significant win for our community," said Jon Kramer, Mayor. "The funding we will receive is a direct result of the diligent efforts, strategic planning, and months of hard work of our Town Council and Administration. The success of this initiative clearly demonstrates our federal government recognizes the growth potential within the Town of Westlock. Our recent growth in infrastructure, business, and industry has set the stage, and now, with this grant, we can ensure our housing development keeps pace. This investment is a critical step in effectively and efficiently addressing the housing shortage in Westlock, propelling us towards a future of prosperity and growth."

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    Jon Kramer, Mayor
    Town of Westlock
    780-349-4444

    ###

    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    December 12, 2023

    Town Announces New Budget for 2024 - Focused on Infrastructure and Community Upgrades

    Westlock, AB –The Town of Westlock adopted the budget for 2024, effective January 1, 2024. The budget is divided between operating and capital expenses. The operating budget covers day-to-day expenses, employee salaries, and resources and utilities needed for daily operation—the capital budget accounts for developing and maintaining infrastructure and facilities across the Town.

    This budget reflects the commitment to sustainable growth, community development, and infrastructure renewal. In preparing these documents, there were many external expenses outside of administration's control, including rising utility costs, increased fuel prices, and the still unknown allocation from the provincial government's funding of the Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF, formerly MSI capital).

    The tax rate increase for 2024 is 3.9%, which means for our residential properties, the average yearly tax increase will be approximately $107.87 or $8.99 monthly.

    Major projects this year include the completion of 108 Street and the start of the 107A Avenue project renewal, the completion of the Public Works Shop and Cold Storage building, and the additional parking at the Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre.

    "We are excited about the East Glen Park (Old Water Tower) playground project. It will be designed as a barrier-free, accessible playground that will provide fun for families all year round." Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer, "We will expand Mountie Park Campground by adding eight new sites and upgrading some to 50-amp service. We are excited to share that the Westlock Aquatic Centre's steam room will be converted to a dry sauna, and the Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre will receive an emergency lighting generator. Additionally, we will continue our efforts to make the Heritage Building more energy-efficient, focusing on HVAC and exterior updates. Our new initiatives for 2024 include adopting the AFRRCS Communication System for emergency responders, upgrading the fire hall, implementing online permitting software, and improvements at the bulk water station. Our commitment to fiscal responsibility and community collaboration is reflected in several grant-dependent projects, like the Whisselville Natural Accessibility Infrastructure and energy efficiency updates to the Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre. The success of these projects hinges on successful grant applications."

    We are dedicated to improving our community today while planning for the future. For detailed information on the budget, visit https://www.westlock.ca/p/finance-and-budget.

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    ###

    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    Monday, November 27, 2023

    Council Sets Municipal Plebiscite Date for Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw

    Westlock, AB – On Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, Westlock Town Council set a date for a municipal plebiscite to decide how best to move forward with the proposed Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw, put before Council as a result of a petition.

    The decision for a plebiscite follows the Oct. 30th verification of a petition submitted to the Town of Westlock, which calls for a bylaw that restricts the Town to flying flags representative of only the municipal, provincial, or federal governments. The same petition demands that crosswalks be painted only in a ‘traditional’ white laddered pattern.

    Per the Municipal Government Act, Council was required to give first reading to the proposed Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw on Nov. 27th, before either voting in favour of second and third reading, or moving to a plebiscite.

    “This is the next step in the process that we are legislated to follow,” said Acting Mayor Murtaza Jamaly. “At this point, we feel like our community needs to weigh in on the Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw at a plebiscite. On February 22, 2024, our community will need to make a hard choice. They will need to choose if removing our community’s rainbow crosswalk sends the right message about who we are.

    “Removing this crosswalk would be a first in this province, and likely sends the message that we aren’t an inclusive community – something I know to be untrue. Our community is going to have an opportunity to look inward as this question is placed on the ballot, and I have full faith that our residents will choose kindness and inclusivity over the false premise of neutrality.”

    The plebiscite has been scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2024.

    “We are following the legislation set out in the Municipal Government Act, holding the plebiscite within the required amount of time following the Nov. 27th meeting, while still allowing enough time for the Town to coordinate the vote and advertise the details to the community,” said CAO Simone Wiley.

    Additional information on the plebiscite is available at www.westlock.ca, where further info will also be posted as the plebiscite approaches.

    Media contact:
    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    780-350-2100

    Murtaza Jamaly, Acting Mayor
    780-716-6878

    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    November 23, 2023

    Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers successfully completed through a grant partnership
    with Municipal Climate Change Action Centre

    Westlock, AB –The Town of Westlock has successfully installed three new EV chargers accessible to the public around the clock. This milestone was achieved through funding from the Electric Vehicle Charging Program (EVCP), as administered by the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC). The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre is a partnership of Alberta Municipalities, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, and the Government of Alberta. Funding for the Electric Vehicle Charging Program was provided by the Government of Alberta and Natural Resources Canada.

    Strategically placed at key Westlock facilities – the Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre (9603-100 Street), Heritage Building (10007-100 Avenue), and Westlock Aquatic Centre (10605-104 Avenue) – these chargers are not just functional but are located to enhance the community experience.

    "Selecting these sites was driven by our goal to make EV charging convenient and to encourage visitors to explore our vibrant recreational spaces, municipal library, and bustling downtown," explained Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer of Westlock. "MCCAC is an invaluable partner, and our collaborations with them on past projects have been very successful. We were grateful for the opportunity to work together again on the EVCP."

    The installation includes a diverse mix of chargers to cater to different needs. The Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre boasts a Level Three Fast Charger, ideal for quick charging needs, while the Heritage Building and Westlock Aquatic Centre host Level Two Chargers, suitable for longer, more leisurely visits. The charging rates are set to reflect the speed of service, with the Level Three charger priced at $20/hour for rapid charging and the Level Two chargers available at a more economical rate of $2/per hour.

    This initiative, facilitated by the MCCAC's commitment to supporting municipalities in sustainable development, marks a significant step forward in enhancing Westlock's infrastructure and environmental footprint.

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    ###

    News Release
    For immediate release

    Wednesday, November 15, 2023

    Mayor Leriger and Coun. Kramer resign from Westlock Town Council;
    By-election to take place in January 2024

    Westlock, AB – On Nov. 10, 2023, Town of Westlock Mayor Ralph Leriger and Coun. Jon Kramer submitted their notice of resignation to Council, effective immediately.

    Leriger’s resignation comes after 10 years of service as the mayor of the Town of Westlock, as he has accepted a role in private industry that prevents him from continuing to serve the Town in an elected capacity.

    “The last 10 years have been nothing short of wonderful,” Leriger said. “I am proud of the work we did to improve and support our community, and I am honoured to have served with so many dedicated Council Members throughout the years. It is hard to leave my Council seat after a decade, but I have decided to make a change that works best for me and for my family. Thank you to my fellow Council Members, to Town staff, and to everyone in the community that has supported me during my time as an elected official. It has been an honour to serve and to represent you.”

    Kramer announced his resignation in response to Leriger’s, stating his intention to run in the mayoral by-election.

    In response to the two resignations, the Town will now move forward in hosting a by-election for the newly vacant mayoral and councillor seats. Those wishing to put their name forward for election will be required to do so by 12:00pm on Nomination Day, Dec. 13, 2023. The by-election for both positions will take place on January 10, 2024.

    “I want to thank both departing Council Members for their commitment to this community,” said Town of Westlock CAO Simone Wiley. “Now that they’ve submitted their resignations, we are moving forward with the by-election in alignment with the requirements set out in the province’s Municipal Government Act. We look forward to constructive campaigns by those hoping to be elected and voters alike.”

    Those looking for more information are asked to visit www.westlock.ca.

    Media contact:
    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    ###

    News Release
    For immediate release

    Tuesday, November 7, 2023

    Town of Westlock Verifies Petition for ‘Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw’

    Westlock, AB – A petition initiated and signed by community members, driving for a ‘crosswalk and flagpole bylaw’ to be created for the Town of Westlock, has been verified, in compliance with provincial legislation.

    This petition pertains specifically to two core areas of Town visual resource use. The first stipulates that the Town can only fly the official municipal, provincial, and federal flags. The second bars the Town from painting crosswalks anything other than the traditional design of white laddered stripes. Each petition stipulation applies to all public spaces within the Town.

    Following the petition’s submission at the end of September 2023, the Town followed provincial legislation, through the Municipal Government Act, which allows 45 days for the petition to be verified. This process was completed on Monday, October 30, 2023.

    “We’ve been in discussion with Alberta Municipal Affairs and are following provincial legislation at every step of this process,” said Town Chief Administrative Officer, Simone Wiley. “We’re drafting a bylaw, now that the petition has been verified, and will move forward in bringing this to Council for next steps.”

    Council is aware of the petition’s verification and is preparing to review the resulting bylaw.

    “This petition carries a lot of considerations,” said Mayor Ralph Leriger. “It means we would not be able to fly flags of the Canadian military or of our schools, of the poppy for Remembrance Day or flags marking the Christmas season, as well as the Treaty 6, Metis, and pride flags. It means we would not be able to paint our crosswalks in a way intended to beautify the Town, to recognize Town history, or in any other manner not prescribed by this petition. I’m not convinced this petition accurately represents the majority of our community’s desires, so there’s a lot to work through as we move forward.”

    The contents of the petition will now be formulated into a formal municipal bylaw, which will be presented to Council for first reading at the November 27, 2023 Council Meeting.

    Media contact:
    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    ###

    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    October 26, 2023

    Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) to launch October 31, 2023

    Westlock, AB – The Town of Westlock is excited to announce the upcoming launch of the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) on October 31, 2023. This program offers low-interest financing to residential property owners to make energy-efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their homes. Thanks to funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Westlock residents can take advantage of this program that will help reduce energy costs. Participants conveniently repay the financing through their property taxes, and if they sell their property, the financing can be transferred to the new owners who will enjoy the benefits of the upgrades. Eligible upgrades include insulation, windows, HVAC systems, solar PV systems, water heating and more. Applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.

    "We are excited to launch the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) and provide a new funding option to our residents for renovations and upgrades," said Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer, "This program helps residential property owners make energy efficiency upgrades with low upfront costs, ultimately improving their property values. We encourage residents to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to enhance their home's energy efficiency and property value!"

    CEIP participants in Weslock also have the opportunity to take advance of the Westlock Water Conservation Incentive and receive a rebate of up to $500 when they install an eligible water-saving appliance (e.g., dishwashers or clothes washing machines) alongside their CEIP upgrades.

    CEIP is administered in partnership with Alberta Municipalities. Alberta Municipalities is a not-for-profit association founded in 1905. It represents Alberta’s 265 urban municipalities, including cities, towns, villages, summer villages, and specialized municipalities, as well as Associate and Affiliate members.

    For more information about CEIP please visit myceip.ca/Westlock. For more information about the Westlock Water Conservation Incentive, please visit westlock.ca/p/CEIP.

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley
    Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

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    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    June 6, 2023

    Phase Two of the 108 Street Infrastructure Project to commence June 12, 2023

    Westlock, AB –The Town of Westlock is happy to share that the final phase of the 108 Street infrastructure project is kicking off this month. The work will continue on 108 Street from the Bulk Water Station to CN Rail tracks on 103 Avenue. Upon completion, 108 Street will have upgraded the roadway, infrastructure, curbs, and sidewalks. Crews will be working throughout the 2023 construction season with an anticipated completion date of the end of October.

    "Our contractor will mobilize to Westlock on June 12 to commence the final works of this project." Robin Benoit, Director of Operations. "We've notified the affected business and have confirmed with our contractors there will not be an interruption to the Bulk Water Station during this phase of the project. Access to Westlock Terminals on 108 Street will be from 97 Avenue only. At the start of the construction schedule, access to Pembina Valley Trucking, Nutrien Ag Solutions, and the off-leash dog park will be from 103 Avenue, and then switch to 97 Avenue shortly after, with the off-leash dog park only being accessible by foot.”

    Residents are encouraged to watch for road construction signs and sign up for Westlock Regional Notification System for Transportation alerts to avoid delays in construction zones.

    Media contact:

    Robin Benoit, Director of Operations
    Town of Westlock
    780-349-3740

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    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    May 11, 2023

    Capri Mall Inspection Results in Closure Order

    Westlock, AB – In August 1971, the first development permit on record was issued to establish a shopping centre in the area of what we now know as Capri Mall. The first business was a steakhouse in 1972, and then in 1973, Pacifica Petroleum was the first gas station on-site. From 1973 to 1998, it was a thriving shopping centre home to many local businesses within the Town of Westlock. During this timeframe, there were several modifications and additions to the original building. By 2000, the shopping centre was in foreclosure and acquired by Capri Capital Corp. Over the past number of years, the condition of Capri Mall has deteriorated, and the Town has received numerous public complaints regarding its condition.

    The Town of Westlock provided notice to Capri Mall owners of an inspection which took place on April 10, 2023. The inspection was completed pursuant to the Municipal Government Act, Safety Codes, Building (including Electrical Code), and the Fire Code. The findings concluded that Capri Mall presents a potential risk to the public or any tenant that accesses the mall. The only remedy available to the Town is to prohibit occupancy until safety concerns have been addressed.

    The Town of Westlock provided current tenants with notification of the imminent closure on May 1, 2023, to provide tenants with as much time as possible to make arrangements to ensure their business continuity. Subsequently, a closure order was issued to Capri Mall owners on May 11, 2023. Affected businesses include Integra Agencies Ltd., Small Town Vapes, Top Shelf Liquor, Westlock Barber Shop, and Your Dollar Store with More.

    "This is a difficult time because every business matters in our town." Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer, "We are working with the affected businesses to provide guidance and support during this transition. We are hopeful for the best-case scenario where the displaced businesses are able to relocate, but we are also mindful of other possible outcomes for these businesses. However, the inspection findings clearly determined the Town's path, as our fundamental responsibility is to ensure public safety."

    Media contact:
    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    ###

    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    April 25, 2023


    Town of Westlock Responds to update from the Government of Canada on the issue of retroactive RCMP costs

    Westlock, AB –The Town of Westlock responded today to the federal government’s disappointing decision to pass unbudgeted and unaccounted for costs on to municipalities. Despite months of municipal advocacy led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), provincialterritorial associations and local leaders across Canada, the federal government has indicated in the most recent federal budget it will not be meeting the request to absorb the retroactive costs associated with the latest RCMP collective bargaining agreement.

    Tuesday’s budget further confirmed that communities across Canada that are dependent on RCMP services for local policing, including Town of Westlock, are expected to cover these costs—a decision falling well short of the call from municipalities to fully absorb the costs.

    “We respect and support the RCMP in our community, but let's be clear, the federal government is responsible for the RCMP.” Ralph Leriger, Mayor of the Town of Westlock. “The federal government and the National Police Federation negotiated this new collective bargaining agreement. There were no consultations or discussions with municipalities throughout this process. Yet somehow, we are now tasked with paying the retroactive wage increases that clearly fall under the federal government's purview. The Town of Westlock's budget is founded on asset management and data-based decisions as we diligently take care of our community today and plan for our future. Downloading a cost of this magnitude without any input from the municipal government is irresponsible.”

    Local governments were not at the table for these negotiations. And while cost estimates were provided to some municipalities, these turned out to be far below the final agreement’s increase over six years, with retroactive pay going back to 2017. The cost to Town of Westlock associated with these retroactive payments is expected to be $105,401.

    This decision is an example of a federal commitment that deeply impacts municipalities, without municipalities being properly consulted or involved. Municipal governments are paying a growing share of policing costs, but they cannot run deficits and have limited revenue tools. FCM has clearly reiterated the need for municipalities to be actively involved in any future processes regarding contract policing, calling this recent decision unacceptable. This is a position supported in full by the Town of Westlock.

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    Ralph Leriger, Mayor
    Town of Westlock
    780-349-6769

    FCM Media Relations
    media@fcm.ca
    613-907-6395

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    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    March 14, 2023

    Town of Westlock Adopts 2023-2026 Operating Budget

    Westlock, AB – Westlock Town Council passed the 2023-2028 Capital Budget on February 13, 2023, and now concludes the budget process by passing the 2023-2026 Operating Budget at the Regular Meeting of Council held Monday, March 13, 2023.

    Council began budget discussions with Administration on November 19, 2022. Every budget process considers service levels, future planning, keeping tax increases to a minimum, and addressing those external pressures of supply chain issues, rising inflation, and ongoing increases in energy costs.

    Westlock Town Council consecutively passed zero per cent tax rate increase budgets in 2020 and 2021. With the global pandemic and unprecedented pressures, those decisions were necessary. However, a zero per cent tax increase places a municipality in the negative for that year as all the external costs continued with rising gas, diesel, power, and natural gas prices. Then a 1.9% tax rate increase was approved in 2022. Work within the municipality and services were able to continue during these three years as the Town lowered the contribution to reserves to offset the rising inflationary costs.

    The 2023-2026 Operating Budget requires a 3% tax increase to maintain and support operations and to address those external pressures. This equates to an average increase of approximately $5.52/month or $66.26/year for homeowners. The average non-residential property will increase by approximately $9.79/month or $117.53/year.

    "We will continue with repairs and maintenance of building infrastructure and roads to refurbish and extend life and usability; this is constantly ongoing work.” Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer. “With this budget, we are investing in asset management software to further and support our data-based decision making as it is embedded in all our planning. We are continuing to work on developing the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP), which will assist residential homeowners in updating the energy efficiency of their homes. We've included additional funding for Family and Community Support Services and will continue with the Large Item Pick up event and the Town Wide Community Garage Sale."

    "Every municipality in Alberta faces a significant reduction in support for capital infrastructure as provincial grants continue to decline at an alarming rate.” Ralph Leriger, Mayor. “Building a reasonable and workable budget is seldom something that is appreciated. No one wants taxes to rise, but those taxes pay for our services and future. This budget was carefully prepared and thought out. I'm so proud of the work Administration and Town staff accomplish for our community—roads, utility, recreation, development, so many things that go unseen and unsung."

    Media contact:

    Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2100

    Ralph Leriger, Mayor
    Town of Westlock
    780-349-6769

    ###


    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    March 3, 2023

    Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre Summer Camp Program Changes

    Westlock, AB – Town of Westlock is happy to share that we are revamping the Youth Summer Programming at the Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre to serve our community better. Our new WRSC Summer Camp program for youth aged 6 to 12 features a weekly camp running Monday to Friday from July 4 to August 25. This is a welcome shift from the previous Monday to Thursday program as it gives us the opportunity to include Field Trip Fridays. Additional changes in our practice are offering early registration and a summer lunch program.

    "We are excited to offer early registration for Westlock region residents from April 5, 6, and 7, with registration for all opening at 8 a.m. on April 8. Campers can sign up for special summer lunches from the concession in the facility." Gerry Murphy, Director of Community Services. "These changes are intended to help families plan their summers well in advance. We want parents and caregivers to know their kids will be engaged and having fun and that the camp closely matches regular working days."

    Summer camps have many benefits above and beyond having fun and being occupied during the school break. Kids develop confidence, independence, healthy living, and leadership skills that carry forward into adulthood. To foster these skills, we are accepting applications from anyone over the age of 14 to volunteer at our summer camp program this year. Apply by emailing cfedrau@westlock.ca.

    "We hope to grow leaders from our campers. First the kids attend, and then as they grow up, they become our volunteers and eventually take on roles as our Program Leaders." Courtney Fedrau, Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre Supervisor.

    Media contact:

    Gerry Murphy, Director of Community Services
    Town of Westlock
    780-349-4444

    Courtney Fedrau, Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre Supervisor
    Town of Westlock
    780-349-6654

    ###


    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    March 2, 2023

    Town of Westlock Municipal Development Plan Refresh

    Westlock, AB – The Town of Westlock is pleased to announce its Municipal Development Plan (MDP) Refresh. This project will help us discover what’s next for Westlock and its next 20 years. This project will be completed by in-house staff and will offer multiple opportunities for engagement and collaboration with Town residents, businesses, and stakeholders.

    The MDP is the Town’s long-range planning document that sets the vision for the Town and guides its development over the next 20 years. The plan helps Council make decisions on future projects and investment for key issues such as housing and asset management. Every municipality in Alberta is required to adopt an MDP under the Municipal Government Act.

    The MDP was adopted in 2015. Since that date, the Town has undergone changes in its demographics and economic position – it is important that the MDP reflects the changing needs of the community in order to maintain a high quality of life for current and future residents. This refresh of the MDP will also allow the Town to utilize recent plans and studies as well as reflect key trends and best practices.

    “The MDP is the cornerstone for future community development, and this project will allow us to create a framework that is made by Westlock, for Westlock,” says Krystle Fedoretz, Director of Development Services, “Over the course of this project, we’ll be asking residents, businesses, and stakeholders to participate and share their ideas on what’s next for Westlock.”

    To start, we are encouraging anyone interested in this project to check out the project website at www.westlock.ca/p/mdp-refresh and sign up for project updates.

    Media contacts:

    Krystle Fedoretz, Director of Development Services
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2111

    Danielle Pougher, Development Officer
    Town of Westlock
    780-350-2113

    News Release
    For Immediate Release

    February 7, 2023

    Westlock Begins Housing and Service Needs Estimation Survey

    Westlock, AB – Westlock and District FCSS has commissioned the Rural Development Network (RDN) to conduct a housing and service needs estimation in Westlock. This project is funded in part through the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home program.

    The purpose of the project is threefold:

    1. Provide a comprehensive picture of housing insecurity and homelessness in Westlock.
    2. Inform service providers and municipal, provincial, and federal policies, practices, and funding decisions on homelessness, housing, and support services.
    3. Elevate and incorporate the voices of people experiencing homelessness in the solutions to end homelessness.

    Data collected across the community will help us understand the extent of housing and service needs in Westlock and will also inform the development of Westlock's Community Housing Action Plan. The survey will be available online and at participating agencies from February 13 to March 31, 2023. The participating agencies are Westlock Library, Westlock Community Victim Services, Alberta Supports, Westlock County Community Services, Hope Resource Centre, and Youth Unlimited - YFC Westlock, and Healthy Families Healthy Future.

    "Given the increasing number of people experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness across the country as a result of COVID-19 and rising inflation rates, it is more important than ever to collect accurate data on the state of housing and homelessness in rural communities such as Westlock, to provide an accurate picture of current need and build a plan to address housing and service needs moving forward." Emma Wallace, Project Manager of Community Development and Homelessness Estimations at RDN.


    Media contact:

    Tracy Proulx, Executive Director
    Westlock & District FCSS
    780-349-5900

    Emma Langevin, Program Coordinator
    Westlock & District FCSS
    780-349-5900