Blackfalds census results show another boom

The Blackfalds census results were released last month leading to several changes across various applications.

The Blackfalds census results were released last month leading to several changes in government funding proportions as well as other applications.

According to the official release from the Town of Blackfalds, the population of Blackfalds is now 8,793 – a 12% increase in population from last year’s census. As well, the total residential dwelling count is now 3,917 units.

The census was conducted between May 1st and June 30th, utilizing door-to-door and online collection services. From 2013 to 2014, the Town experienced a growth of 531 people. At the time of the 2015 census assessment, results state that the population of Blackfalds has grown by 935 people.

“We’ve seen the impacts of more people moving into the Town for a couple of years now. What it means moving forward is that we will take these new numbers to the Province and that’s how we justify and argue for continued support through grants,” said Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol.

“The Province of Alberta has several grants that are based on per capita, and that’s where the big winners are. The Street Improvement Grant is $60 per person – so just in that one grant alone, with 935 more people, it’s a $56,000 increase the next time that grant is given, which is annually. In turn, we take that money and invest it into road improvements.”

Other funding sources that are based on population growth include the Policing Grant and recently announced increases in funding for Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) programs.

“We recently received an email that with the Interim Supply Budget, FCSS funding has been increased by $10 million. They have now figured out how that’s going to be distributed – all programs will receive an increase of 10 per cent, which accounts for $7.5 million of those $10 million,” Stol said.

“Plus, programs that experience population increases will receive greater than that 10 per cent, but we don’t know how much.”

The issue and implications will be discussed at the next regular Town of Blackfalds council meeting.

Stol said the census affects things like infrastructure planning, but the Town is lucky to have fairly new infrastructure. Mostly, the focus is on maintenance.

“I think that every time you grow, you have to consider the infrastructure maintenance. As we become more of a regional thought in our community – we do a lot of partnering with Lacombe and Lacombe County – it’s still about making sure the right types of infrastructure exist in town, while using a regional system for other things. That could be certain community amenities.”

Stol said Blackfalds residents are lucky they have partnerships with the surrounding communities, because it allows for the Town to explore the best use of its money within the municipality.

“There are a lot of applications with the census, and a lot different people that can use it to do strategic thinking about a growing community,” she said.

“We don’t simply have to build one of everything because we have ‘x’ many people –we have to think about regional services. When we see growth happening in Blackfalds, it’s also up to our regional partners and neighbours to consider how those amenities will change.”

As well, Stol said the census provides an excellent tool for business owners to do strategic location planning if they are looking for somewhere to grow their industry, particularly in the professional services industry.

“We have to look at the broad applications of what a census can do. It affects business people – they can look at our growth average and really recognize that Blackfalds is a great place to invest or start a service-type business, like lawyers, accountants, and optometrists – those kinds of services,” she explained.

“There are new people coming here, moving from all sorts of places. Those types of professional personal services I mentioned are desperately needed in Blackfalds.”

kmenodnsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Only 13 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by Alberta gov’t Saturday

There’s currently only two active cases in province’s central zone

Central Alberta naturalists fear pristine headwaters will be contaminated by coal mine

Chutes of the Ram constitute one of Earth’s ‘most beautiful’ spots

Every Albertan eligible for COVID-19 testing

22 new cases confirmed on Friday

Lacombe Hospital Auxiliary sews 200 scrub bags for local healthcare workers

Bags were delivered to the hospital, the Community Care Centre and Royal Oak Dementia Care

Anna Maria’s Cafe opens at LMC after renovation hiatus

Operator: Guests are noticing the brightness of the space

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The Lacombe Express covers the stories that matter to you and to our community

PODCAST: The Expert tackles the return of sports

Cam Moon, Joe Whitbread, Byron Hackett and Todd Vaughan discuss how sports can come back

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

International student worry about pandemic as decisions loom on travel to Canada

Zohra Shahbuddin is weighing whether to enrol this fall or put off coming to Canada until next year

How finding a ministerial home for CMHC caused ‘madness’ in November

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. manages the national housing strategy

‘What do we do now?’ Labour dispute at Regina refinery nears 6 months

About 700 unionized workers were locked out by refinery owner, Federated Co-operatives Ltd., Dec. 5

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Most Read