2020 Reeve's Report
It is that time again where I reflect on what we have accomplished in the previous year. And what a year 2020 has been. The COVID-19 pandemic made its way through our County and throughout the world. It reshaped the way Council and Administration do business and challenged us to learn new ways of accomplishing success; certainly, some of those new ways are here to stay. Although it has been difficult adapting to personal changes such as seeing loved ones, shopping for groceries, getting a haircut or simply paying bills, I pause to appreciate the positives as time slowly turns the page. As our late CAO, Cory Ollikka said “The resilience of our team and our community heartens me.”
We have much to be proud of. A few of our achievements in 2020, we saw:
- A higher number of public attendees at our virtual meetings who conveniently participated or watched from their homes,
- The new HAK School in Smoky Lake approved to go ahead which we lobbied the Provincial Government in favour of for years, and is set to start construction in 2022,
- Métis Crossing complete their Cultural Gathering Center and started the process of building a 40-suite hotel on along the beautiful banks of the North Saskatchewan River,
- The Victoria District Economic Development Strategy Working Group established funding models, corporate structures, and business plan to move forward with the goal of adding to the visitor economy, increasing the visitor audience from Métis Crossing and other attractions, diversifying the Region’s economy, and supporting Municipal sustainability while preserving and promoting our cultures, our heritage and our ecological assets to enhance the experiences of our visitors by sharing with them in an authentic way while maintaining our community identity and lifestyle,
- Our years of lobbying efforts for a safer intersection at Highways 28 and 831 paid off with the approval of a roundabout,
- County Council diligently create new policies and bylaws as well as update many existing policies to meet the needs of our realities,
- Our new website became established where you can easily find plenty of information from the meeting minutes to Councils’ monthly calendar of activities, to the Reeve’s Report, and
- Gene Sobolewski become our new CAO in September and have enjoyed watching him take the lead with positive vigor ever since.
Although 2020 was not a great year for most, we still managed to make the most of it. It is truly a great pleasure to be the Reeve of Smoky Lake County and Councillor for Division Three. I thank everyone for providing me this opportunity to make a positive difference in this beautiful County.
Reeve, Smoky Lake County