Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link is excited to have seen so much new interest and business looking toward the county throughout the course of 2023. 

“2023 was an extremely exciting year. Obviously, we have had some significant investment and interest in Wheatland County. I am excited and proud of what Wheatland County has done throughout 2023 under the strategic governance of our council,” she said. “We also have an incredible team that has executed that strategy that council has made, and we have changed the trajectory of Wheatland County. We are on a path where we will not just be viable, but a prosperous region for generations to come.”

The two most prominent projects coming to Wheatland County, Link attributed to the CGC wallboard manufacturing plant that will soon begin to see construction, as well as the plans De Havilland has to establish their new aircraft repair and manufacturing campus.

Between these two developments, hundreds of new jobs will be created within the county for both people who will be new to the area, and currently residing professionals. 

“One thing I have realized is that I have not communicated why I have been driven to pursue that, and I can’t necessarily say the why behind what our council has done – we certainly have done it collectively,” said Link. “For me, a lot of it is, of course we want to diversify the economy and grow that tax base and create sustainable revenue for Wheatland County, but we are also creating employment opportunities which have a ripple effect, and we know that individuals who have employment have purpose.”

Link explained, examples of such an effect taking place are parents being able to afford their homes, feed their children, kids who are able to learn better with full stomachs, and better outcomes within families can be observed through lower stress environments.

Thus far, CGC and De Havilland have made active efforts to be good corporate neighbours in Wheatland County, having made significant investments and donations back into the local community. 

“Some of our renewable energy, we have the Wheatland Wind and East Strathmore Solar Community Benefit Funding which helps facilitate opportunities in the county … we can’t do that without the business backbone in the county,” said Link. “What having a stable tax base also helps do is fund things like our community enhancement regional board. Council just recently approved 47 projects under that grant funding, totaling over $400,000.”

Since its inception, the Community Enhancement Regional Board has invested nearly $4.9 million, which goes directly into cultural and recreational programs throughout the local region.

Link also specified throughout 2024, the county aims to continue its focus on streamlining its processes, as well as continuing to seek ways to invest back into local communities such as for emergency and fire services.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 10, 2024 at 15:41

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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