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Mayor asks Airdrie to be patient with growth

Airdrie Mayor Linda Bruce used her State of the City address to the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce to ask residents and business owners to be patient with Airdrie’s growth management, June 16.
Mayor Linda Bruce asked residents to be patient with the City’s rapid growth during the State of the City Address at the Ramada Inn, June 16.
Mayor Linda Bruce asked residents to be patient with the City’s rapid growth during the State of the City Address at the Ramada Inn, June 16.

Airdrie Mayor Linda Bruce used her State of the City address to the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce to ask residents and business owners to be patient with Airdrie’s growth management, June 16.

“Phenomenal growth continues to thrive in Airdrie,” she said.

“We are committed to measuring the effectiveness of planning and land use to ensure they are being met. And, as for the biggest topic of discussion lately, everyone at the City is working hard to get the construction done.”

She said the recent rainy weather has slowed many projects.

Work on numerous significant arterial roadways, the Kings Heights fire department building, a new RCMP facility, Chinook Winds Park and renovations to the old gymnastics centre in the Ron Ebbesen Arena are just a few major projects that are already underway.

Bruce said continuous growth management is important to the City.

“One of the most important documents going forward is the AirdrieONE plan,” she said.

“We are trying to get as much community feedback as possible so that it is a plan that really serves the needs of the community. The plan is like a solid oak tree that is the strength of the community and every plan is a branch off that tree. It is important that our tree is healthy and growing.”

AirdrieONE will include plans for transportation, transit, infrastructure, businesses, health care, arts and culture for the fastest growing city in the Alberta.

Since 2000, the city has grown by 99 per cent. By 2023, Airdrie’s population is expected to balloon to 63,834. Plans are in the works to annex 11,000 acres of land for growth going into the next 30 years.

According to Bruce, the city isn’t just getting bigger, it’s getting better.

In a report completed by Alberta Venture magazine in June 2009, Airdrie was identified as one of the Top 10 Communities to do Business in Alberta, citing the city’s access to the Calgary market, transportation and progressive business climate as strengths. Airdrie was also highlighted as one of the five fastest growing nodes in Alberta.

“Whether you are a volunteer, resident, business owner or all of the above, 2009 was a fantastic year,” she said.

“With the Centennial celebrations, the 55 Plus Games, the Airdrie Air Show, and the Home and Garden Show, we really learned how dedicated our volunteers are and how to be a good host, while learning to deal with the economic struggle.”

The City has seen 47 per cent total business license growth since 2005. In 2010, there has been an average of 46 new business licenses per month. 2009 saw 1,460 Airdrie-based business licenses issued. Eight hundred and seventy eight or 60 per cent of Airdrie businesses are home-based

“Our business community is the backbone of what has occurred in our community,” she said.

“Airdrie is open for business and we have a lot going on here.”

Looking to the future, Bruce said she hopes the city will be home to a post-secondary education centre, an arts and culture facility and urban agriculture.

“Many people think when we are annexing land that it will be used for residential and commercial uses, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” she said.

“Agriculture is becoming a big part of urban life.”

However, Bruce said the most important issue going forward is creating school space for students in Airdrie.

“By the time we can get a school built here in four to six years, some schools will be at 120 per cent capacity,” she said.

“We can’t have students getting ready to go to schools that don’t exist. Education is the number one priority in any city, province or country. We are passionate and our kids mean so much.”


Airdrie Today Staff

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