Lacombe is still one of the best places to live in Canada.
MoneySense Magazine recently ranked Lacombe as the 17th best city to live in Canada overall and fourth best small city in its annual survey of 201 Canadian cities.
Mayor Steve Christie said that he is ecstatic to be so high in the ranking once again.
“Being in that top 20 is always a great, great thing,” said Christie. He added that there are quite a number of criteria that determine these rankings in the MoneySense survey so it tells him Lacombe is a balanced community.
Last year, Lacombe was ranked the eighth best city overall in Canada. Christie said the change in rank likely has a lot to do with cities all over the country constantly changing and evolving but he also named a few areas where he thought Lacombe might be lacking.
First and foremost among these was growth, particularly in the economic sector. For a long time now, development has been a topic of concern among the citizens of Lacombe.
Christie agreed this is something that is in need of improvement within the City. He added it is not something that has been “Put on the back-burner.”
“Definitely commercial growth is something that we have been lacking,” said Christie. He went on to say that a number of projects to grow Lacombe are already underway.
Recently, the City learned that a hotel group is interested in building on a plot of land near Michener Park. Christie added there are plans to build a strip mall in that area as well and there are other businesses, like Booster Juice, that have expressed interest in coming to Lacombe.
“These things don’t happen overnight,” said Christie. “Things take time and we’re hoping to continue to nurture that.”
Another aspect of a balanced community that Lacombe is lacking, but again working on, is a transit system, said Christie. With the regional transportation initiative between Lacombe, Blackfalds and Red Deer set to start in September, it is something Lacombe should be up to speed with soon.
There will always be a need for improvement in this City, but Lacombe still has a lot going for it. It’s economy, culture, amenities, beauty and history all make the City an attractive place to live, said Christie.
While Lacombe may not be experiencing rapid economic growth, Christie said the City still has a strong economic base that allows residents to get all kinds of jobs and earn a fair wage. He added that there are a number of big companies and employers within the City and nearby area as well.
“You can make a good living in Lacombe.”
He also commented on the safety of Lacombe, noting that crime rates in the City have never been high and numbers indicate the five-year crime trend continues to decrease. He also mentioned Lacombe’s location, history, culture, green spaces and other attractions and how there are initiatives in place to make sure those positive aspects of the City continue to flourish as well.
“We have a lot of things going for us,” said Christie.
While the recognition and rankings are great, Christie said the best aspect of Lacombe really is its people. He added that people and their pride in the community are the reasons the things that improve the City get done, not the rankings.