The State of the City Address was held on May 4th. The Mayor spoke on many topics like exploring new directions in the city. This included work on regional collaboration. He says it is ongoing with projects like the Tri-Municipal Industrial Partnership and it will continue.
Given also touched on strengthening the core of the Swan City with things like the Downtown Rehabilitation and Streetscapes Project.
“I thought it was important to understand that the downtown work is well thought out and it has a strategic aim of increasing density in the downtown core.”
He also explained the city’s intention to optimize the existing services in the community. These included the Bear Creek Outdoor pool and modernizing the transit system.
The speech also touched on what direction the city is exploring for the future. The mayor explained that the Tri-Municipal Industrial Partnership and other regional collaboration projects are on their radar.
Growth in the city was another highlight of the speech. The new Spark! program at the Community Futures’ new offices at 214 Place was brought forward. Sprout was also highlighted. Road work like 68th Avenue twinning and bridge project was a topic while the 43X Bypass was a topic with the Hughes Lake Area Structure Plan highlighted.
He added that patterns in the community show that the economic downturn is on the upswing.
“We are housing sales increase, we are prices of houses increase, we are seeing people hiring again, we are seeing more heavy vehicle truck traffic going through the city. All of these are indicators to a return to an active local economy.”
He explains that the first quarter of 2017 had over 2700 permits issued for over-dimensional vehicles travelling through Grande Prairie which was up from around 1800 the year before.
Looking ahead to 2018, the mayor highlighted the importance of the Canada 150 Celebrations and what types of things to expect in conjunction with the country’s birthday. The Alberta Summer Games were also highlighted as putting a spotlight on Grande Prairie.
This is the last state of the city address before a new council is brought in with the election in the fall.