Growth should happen slowly
Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 11:28 am
Here we grow again.
It was good news for the Town of Okotoks last week as the Province gave its stamp of approval on the annexation of 1,950 hectares of land from the MD of Foothills.
As of July 1, Okotoks’ borders will stretch from Highway 2 in the northeast corner to south of Big Rock Trail. The agreement also pulls land on Highway 7, including the future Wind Walk and Gold Medal developments, into the Town’s jurisdiction.
The Town has essentially been given the green light to grow over the next 60 years, and it intends to do so. There’s just one problem - water.
There are currently water licence transfers in the works that will serve as an interim solution to Okotoks’ seemingly endless battle to secure water for future development, providing enough for three or four years according to Coun. Tanya Thorn.
There’s still no news of funding for a water pipeline from Calgary, despite the Town’s numerous appeals to the Province over the past few years to have the waterline approved. Without confirmation of a reliable water source, the Town will have to tread carefully as it begins to expand its footprint in the Foothills. Careful planning will be needed to ensure the Town is not approving developments beyond its abilities to provide water without disrupting service levels for existing infrastructure.
There’s nothing wrong with growth — being located just minutes south of a booming city, with the foothills and mountains just a short distance away and plenty of commercial social and recreational opportunities makes Okotoks and area an ideal place for many people to live.
A larger population will bring more services to the Town and could potentially increase the diversity of the local economy with new business.
It’s a matter of taking one step at a time, and not running the wells dry in the process.