Projects and Initiatives
Richardson Milling, Manola. Processors of pearl and pot barley and oats.
Our region is part of the tourism initiative of GROWTH Alberta called "Wild Alberta". Partnered with Travel Alberta and the Province, "Wild Alberta" was launched to promote the region's attractions and events. Tourism operators are members of this committee, and help drive and monitor development strategies. Our central Alberta location and proximity to Edmonton offer huge tourism opportunities. Some of our key attractions are parks, lakes, golf courses, cultural facilities (like museums), camping, river activities, ski hills, off road vehicle (OHV) activities and peaceful scenic getaways.
Marketing of WILD Alberta continues through media campaigns with newspaper, magazines, radio and billboards in Edmonton and area.
Our local airport continues to attract new flyers. With all the existing hangar plots leased, the County and Town have developed 6 new hangar plots. Already there is a demand for these new sites. As well, in partnership with Trident Exploration Corp. and the Town of Barrhead, the installation of a weather station was approved to allow flyers to check the weather conditions at the airport before flying.
ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Council has an established Economic Development Committee, consisting of 3 councillors and 2 members at large to make recommendations to County Council regarding programs and projects that would benefit the County. We look forward to the added touch this will bring the area of Economic Development. We produced a promotional video for the Community, which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwDmnn66Xwpg3gyVV6CuIpg
The committee has started a Business Visitation Program as well, and to date has visited many businesses in the County, as well as continuing partnerships with organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce. If you would like to book a visit, call Rick Neumann at 780-674-3331.
LAND / DEVELOPMENT VENTURE
Early in 2012, the County of Barrhead No. 11 purchased a 160 acre quarter section of farmland located at NE 27-59-3-W5, two miles east of the Town of Barrhead.
The purpose of obtaining this land is that Council sees the value of having a suitable parcel of land available to offer for prospective ventures. There are many uses that, while beneficial to the whole community, may not be suitably located in an urban setting. The County of Barrhead wishes to have land readily available should such a venture wish to locate in our community. Also, it could provide for a future site that would house County offices, the Agricultural Service Board and Public Works if and when the time arises.
This parcel was chosen due to its proximity to services and the town site. The land is currently leased as farmland, with a natural gas line running through it. Three phase power is available and municipal wastewater and water supply lines are contained within a utility corridor running along the north side of the land. A modular home manufacturing plant operates on a site in the quarter section to the north of this parcel.
1) A preliminary engineering study has been completed to provide the basis for planning various uses on the land, including what the land can support. The Preliminar Engineering Study includes the following assessments:
- Phase 1 Environmental Assessment
- Biophysical Assessment
- Geotechnical Assessment
- Historical Resource Impact Assessment
- Preliminary Storm Water Managment Assessment
- Capacity Study for Water & Sewer Services
The findings offered alternatives for the following services, including Fire Protection, Layout and Roads, Wetland Management, Water & Waste Water options, and Gas & Power.
2) A Visioning Exercise was completed in 2015, giving community input and values to the project, now named the Kiel Development Project.
VALUES As we develop this project, we will demonstrate these VALUES:
Collaborative approach between communities
Complementary business to business development
Growth – youth, employment, population
New and sustainable tax base
Quality of life
The Kiel Development Project is a vibrant, innovative catalyst for our community’s growth.
CRITERIA FOR DEVELOPMENT DECISIONS
We will know we have had success if developments in the Kiel Development Project:
Complement Industry Sectors
Demonstrate a reasonable level of risk
o A cost benefit analysis demonstrates a positive financial return to the Municipality
Diversify our economy
Support growth in the community
3) Moving forward in 2016, the County of Barrhead partnered with TEC Edmonton to complete a feasibility study to determine best industry fit, best business model and plans for moving forward with this development, with excellent results. We now have a solid grasp of 4 industries that will complement the existing agriculture community while diversifying it to create new opportunities. As well, we have begun to identify the best business models moving forward so that we can engage industry and local entrepreneurs to create new, high value jobs and continued growth. The Town of Barrhead and the Chamber of Commerce have been excellent supporters and participants throughout, and the project will continue to move forward with the interests of the community as a whole.
Next steps will include a deep dive into the four areas of opportunity; we have applied for funding under the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program to achieve this. We look forward to continuing this exciting work, engaging industry further and building solid business relationships with these partners. Anyone wishing to learn more can call Rick Neumann or Jenny Bruns at the County Office.