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

 

Just Posted

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Rotary Club of Lacombe Daybreak donates funds to FCSS for lifeline units

14 residents to receive potential lifesaving devices

Blackfalds Set to host annual Winterfest on Family Day

Winterfest 2019 will take place regardless of weather

WATCH: Canada Games Torch Relay lights spark in Lacombe

100s brave blistering cold to support local torchbearers

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

Most Read