CITY OF CHESTERMERE | WINTER 2017
A quarterly community newsletter with updates, stories, and highlights of work happening at the City of Chestermere.
connection Did you know? The City is offering more opportunities to skate outdoors this winter season. This includes three rinks and one skating loop on the Lake (next to Anniversary Park).
BE ACTIVE IN 2017 CHESTERMERE
MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR At this time of year there is a lot of activity at the City as we close off the year’s projects and prepare for the New Year. It’s also a time to reflect on what has occurred in our community over the past year. In 2016, Council focused on listening to residents. We heard that we need to continue pursuing commercial and light industrial offerings in Chestermere to increase our non-residential tax base. While Chestermere continues to grow on both sides of the tax base equation, our nonresidential assessment has grown 125% from $57 million to $128 million over the past five years. We are open for business and continue to attract commercial ventures to Chestermere while seeking out light industrial as well. We also heard that residents needed to breathe under harsh economic conditions so we kept taxes on the negative side of the equation for 2016. We continued to be in the bottom third of all cities in the province for taxes while continuing to provide quality service and amenities to our residents. We definitely heard that we needed to improve how we connect with Chestermerians. We took that to heart and made a concerted effort in 2016 to share more information and invite our community
January is a great time for the whole family to get involved with recreation activities and there is a new way to learn about what programs are offered here in Chestermere. Do you want to learn to skate? Interested in what dance companies operate in Chestermere? Thinking of signing up for martial arts classes? Wondering who offers hockey programs?
Visit www.BeActiveChestermere.com! BeActiveChestermere.com is a directory featuring a comprehensive list of recreation programs and services for all ages. Recently refreshed, the website is a great way to stay up to date with recreation programs available in our community. Chestermere Curling Club organizer Marla Forth was part of the planning committee for the website and loves the website’s new look. “Wow, the new Be Active Chestermere website is amazing,” she says. “I love the fact that the website is a directory and it is very easy to find information on each group!”
“Wow, the new Be Active Chestermere website is amazing!”
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Call, click, connect
Have you ever wondered about something happening in the City? Connect with us for up to date information!
Call Click Connect City Hall: (403) 207-7050 Roads & Parks: (403) 207-2807 Bylaw Enforcement: (403) 207-7058
www.chestermere.ca www.chestermere.ca/facebook www.chestermere.ca/youtube
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with a member of Council. Council contact details are at www.chestermere.ca/council
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The site was developed by the City of Chestermere in partnership with recreation organizations to make it easier for residents to find information about recreation programs. “There are so many great groups offering recreation programs in Chestermere,” said Katelyn Richards, Community Recreation Coordinator for the City of Chestermere. “We were very pleased to work with them to create BeActiveChestermere.com and are excited to provide a great way for residents to stay engaged, creative and active in Chestermere all year round.”
“There are so many great groups offering recreation programs in Chestermere.” In addition to checking the website itself, you can sign up for Facebook notifications at www.facebook.com/BeActiveChestermere. Residents are also encouraged to sign-up for an e-newsletter that will contain a monthly summary of information about upcoming events, festivals and programs.
For more information visit www.BeActiveChestermere.com
2017 BUDGETED PROJECTS
Below are some of the budgeted projects for 2017:
Altalink Pathway: This grant funded project is part of multi-year regional pathway improvements. Anticipated to begin in 2017, the City will add a pathway on the Altalink lands from West Lakeview Drive to Rainbow Falls Boulevard. Upon consultation with Altalink, there may be an option for an off-leash space in this area as well. Centre for Community Leadership: The first dedicated space in the community to host not for profit groups will be opening soon. Utility services have been installed, and there will be a deck installed in spring. Stay tuned for a grand opening celebration when the weather is warmer! Lakefront Parks Improvements: Grant dollars will be used to add storage for the weed harvesters at Sunset Park, make small improvements to the beach at Anniversary Park, and upgrade the beach and playground at Cove Park (based on feedback received from residents in 2016). These projects are scheduled to begin in 2017. North West Naturalized Park Landscaping Project: This three year landscaping project is located at the off leash park at the north end of Chestermere Lake. Work will include adding natural boundaries, low profile fencing, and removal of noxious and nuisance weeds to support healthy interaction between all park users. This grant funded project is anticipated to begin in 2017. Township Road 240 Upgrade: The upgrade to Township Road 240 will begin in early January. The design is in its final stages and the first phase of construction (starting at Highway 791) is on track to start in the spring. This project is funded by a variety of sources including grants, developer contributions and restricted surplus. For more information on this multi-year project please visit www.chestermere.ca/240upgrade.
For a full listing of projects and updates visit www.chestermere.ca/projects
Navigating the roads and sidewalks during winter can be challenging. We can all do our part to help make Chestermere a safer place in the winter by shoveling snow or ice off sidewalks. Bylaw 018-11(4) outlines the proper removal of snow, ice and slush. Remember you may not shovel snow on to the streets as this poses a safety hazard for pedestrians and drivers, and is against the law. For more information, contact the Peace Officers at (403) 207-7058 or email@example.com.
COUNCILLOR SPOTLIGHT: Patrick Watson Patrick was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. With a father in the military, he moved between New Brunswick and Ontario several times as a youth. He and his wife Corinne built their first home in Chestermere in 1993 and have been here ever since. Patrick says that he wanted to run for Council in 2013 to get involved in the City’s growth and was particularly interested in Council’s role in approvals for planning and subdivisions. One of Patrick’s fondest memories on Council was sharing the news about the Christmas decoration replacement program. A friend had lost all of her decorations in the 2015 flood and as a result of Patrick’s encouragement to use the program, she was overwhelmed with new décor provided through the community’s generosity. In the coming months, Patrick is looking forward to economic development plans for the new Business Park and the recently passed budget which he believes reflects our local economy.
“Council has afforded me the most incredible opportunity to meet many brilliant minds in the region, but the real light shines on our own directors, managers and staff who truly make our Chestermere municipality an amazing place to work. I love being part of this team.” To contact Councillor Watson call (403) 923-0099 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continued from Page 1 to new sessions about how our processes work. We had our first ever Tax Assessment workshop, held and promoted open budget sessions, and strove to make information readily available to the public as quickly as possible. We will continue to add new public engagement opportunities in 2017.
We are committed to being a highly desirable place to live, raise families, and retire. Our over-60 population increased another 1% and our total community grew by 6.6%. We proudly unveiled the new Municipal Development Plan that honours our culture and character while looking at ways to steward the environment, pilot new housing types, and connect neighbourhoods together. We also became Western Canada’s first Bee City, directly resulting from resident passion. We had some great events that took place in 2016 too. Our new Winter Lights Festival attracted many families and people of all ages as John Peake Park was lit up. The fireworks on the lake were a great hit this winter and for Canada Day. Our first Lemonade Day was also a huge success. 2016 had its challenges and its rewards. We learned a lot but also took time to appreciate our beautiful community that attracts the best people and I’m sure it will continue to do so into 2017.
September 30 & October 1, 2016 : The City of Chestermere celebrated the sixth annual Chestermere Arts Days at City Hall & the Chestermere Public Library. Guests were delighted by the cultural performances, delicious food, beautiful artwork & fascinating workshops. www.chestermere.ca/artsdays
Sincerely, Mayor Patricia Matthews
Volunteer during tax season
Tax season is coming up and the Community Resource Centre will be looking for volunteers who would like to help out with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. This program offers online training for volunteers to assist low-income residents with preparing their income taxes. Contact the Community Resource Coordinator at (403) 207-7079 for more information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
October 9-15, 2016: Chestermere Fire Services reminded all residents: ‘Don’t Wait – Check the Date’ for the 20th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week in Canada. New this year, the Honourary Junior Firefighter program asked Chestermere youth to participate in fire prevention by creating a fire escape plan. www.chestermere.ca/fireprevention
Budget 2017-2018 When was the budget approved? Following weeks of detailed internal budget preparation and review, extensive public engagement, and hours of discussion and deliberation, Council approved the 2017-2018 budget on December 5th. What is included in the 2017-2018 budget? While significant cost savings of over $2.5 Million were found, the budget ensures that municipal services and major projects will continue. These items include the upgrade of Township Road 240, necessary road rehabilitation projects, a few pathway upgrades, improvements to lakefront parks, the addition of a soccer field at Our Lady of Wisdom School and various operational improvements. The vast majority of the new projects are paid for by provincial or federal grants, not local tax dollars.
November 8-10, 2016: After thirteen hours of public budget presentations and deliberations, City Officials concluded budget presentation meetings. Opportunities for feedback were available online and inperson. The 2017-2018 budget was passed on December 5th. www.chestermere.ca/budget
How will this affect my taxes? In 2017, residents can expect to pay (on average) 2.3% more in municipal taxes than last year and 2.0% in 2018. For the average homeowner with a property assessed at $500,000, this equates to $60.31 more in 2017 and $53.65 more in 2018. Why did the City pursue a multi-year budget? While City Council can review the budget at any time, reviewing and approving a multi-year budget provides better long range strategic planning. A multi-year budget is also a requirement being brought in by the new modernized Municipal Government Act, so this process is in alignment with those legislative amendments.
For more information on the Budget visit www.chestermere.ca/budget
November 26, 2016: Chestermere celebrated winter and the official lighting of the Christmas lights display in John Peake Park. Guests were enchanted by the fire spinners, stilt walkers, frozen characters, sleigh rides and fireworks. www.chestermere.ca/winterlights
STAFF AT THE CITY
The people behind the work happening at the City of Chestermere
Whether you see them at a local hockey game, volunteering at a block party or training at the Fire Hall, the men and women of Chestermere Fire Services (CFS) live by the principles of Pride, Professionalism and Proficiency. In addition to fire response, Chestermere’s Firefighters provide an array of emergency services to the public including chemical and hazardous materials release, motor vehicle collision assistance, ice and water rescue, weather-related emergency help and occasional animal rescues.
“Caring for the safety of our community and each other is at the heart of our service,” says Fire Chief Brian Pomrenke. “We are there for the best and sometimes the worst moments of peoples’ lives, which is a humbling responsibility we take very seriously.” Committed to the safety and development of our community, the Fire Department also educates the community about fire safety and prevention, disaster preparedness and safety code enforcement. In 2016, CFS launched the Honourary Junior Firefighter Program to engage youth and their parents in fire prevention. Chestermere kids prepared a fire escape plan and colouring page. Upon presentation to a firefighter, the kids were given a certificate signed by Mayor Matthews and the Fire Chief. Be sure to watch for this program again next October.
January 5 - June 1: Lunch & Learns On the first Thursday of every month, Chestermere Community Services hosts informative and educational Lunch & Learns. Past topics have included: aging, healthy living, Chestermere’s history and more. Chestermere Whitecappers (201 West Chestermere Drive) www.chestermere.ca/calendar January 11 from 6-8: Mini Energizer Night This is your chance to register for a variety of recreation programs or join clubs and organizations in Chestermere and area. Chestermere Recreation Centre (201 West Chestermere Drive) www.chestermerecrca.com January 31: Business & Dog Licences Due If you are a business owner or dog owner in Chestermere, don’t forget to renew your licence. Payment for licences are due January 31 and can be made at City Hall. Chestermere City Hall (105 Marina Road) www.chestermere.ca February 20 from 1-4: Family Day Unplugged On Family Day, disconnect from technology and connect with your family and your community! Join us for this free unplugged afternoon of board games and family fun. For more information e-mail email@example.com. Chestermere Recreation Centre (201 West Chestermere Drive) www.chestermerecrca.com March 6-10: Assessment Notices Mailed In the first week of March, assessment notices will be mailed to residents in Chestermere. The 2016 assessment reports will also be available on the City’s website (www.chestermere.ca/webmap). If you have not received your notice by mid-March contact the City of Chestermere by calling (403) 207-7050. www.chestermere.ca/assessments March 18 from 10- 4: Chestermere Mind Body & Spirit Expo Do you want to feel healthy on all levels - physically, mentally, and spiritually? The Expo will feature products, services and resources for your optimal health and well-being. There will be over 50 booths to inspire you! Chestermere Recreation Centre (201 West Chestermere Drive) www.chestermerecrca.com
CFS Firefighters with the Chestermere Lakers Pee Wee team honouring Markus Lavallee’s legacy.
Throughout the winter season, CFS crews would like to remind both kids and parents to be cautious around iced surfaces. All ice is considered dangerous, regardless of the depth or time of the year. If you do need assistance, the crews have been fully trained in ice rescue and are available anytime at 9-1-1.
April 15 from 9- 12: 7th Annual United Way Easter Egg Hunt Now in its seventh year, this family-friendly event promises to be an egg-citing time for the whole community! For a minimum $5 donation each child will be able to collect eggs and exchange them for treats. More information for registration and hunt times will be available in early 2017. Lakeside Golf Club (555 Lakeside Greens Drive) www.facebook.com/chestermerecs
Next time you see these local heroes around the community, be sure to say hello! You can learn more about CFS at www.chestermere.ca/cfs
Contact Us 4
Have a question about this newsletter or an idea for a future edition? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (403) 207-7036.
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Winter edition of the Chestermere community newsletter.