Well, it’s the time of year to celebrate the season and for those of us with a more spiritual bent, a time to rejoice. What a great year we have had here in Lacombe – a year of significant accomplishments, and of laying the groundwork for future successes.
I feel that we have drawn closer together as a community in the past year, and collectively we have taken great strides towards becoming a more vibrant and sustainable City. We are certainly a growing community, as evidenced by our most recent census. We are 12,728 strong.
Lacombe is very lucky to be home to a great number of caring people who show true community spirit by devoting themselves to helping others, and to make our City more livable.
I would like to recognize and thank our active and committed volunteers, community groups and organizations, not only for their tireless efforts throughout the year, but especially during this time of the year as they reach out to those in need.
Without their compassion, generosity and hard work, Lacombe would not be such a wonderful place to call home. Thank you all for your many contributions, and for making a positive difference in so many lives.
I am also thankful for the hard work and dedication of my fellow councillors and staff at the City of Lacombe, all of whom are committed to working together with residents to make Lacombe a safe, inclusive and prosperous community.
I consider myself fortunate to serve with such dedicated and passionate people who truly care about our City. Thanks to them, 2015 promises to be a positive and exciting year for Lacombe and I am confident that together we can overcome all challenges and achieve great things.
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge you, the citizens of Lacombe, for your patience and understanding during the critical infrastructure construction periods, and for believing in the promise of Alberta’s newest City. I invite you to join us in continuing to create a vibrant and giving community in 2015.
As I alluded to earlier, we have many things to look forward to in the coming year. We anticipate the construction start-up for a new shopping centre in Lacombe Market Square in the spring; the opening of the new Best Western hotel by Michener Park in the fall; and the addition of new commercial enterprises to our business community.
Lacombe will also see the opening of new residential subdivisions in Shepherd Heights, MacKenzie Ranch, Metcalf Ridge and Trinity Crossing, which will see more than 400 housing units made available for development next year.
Also, design details are being finalized for the new police facility, with construction slated to begin next spring, and lastly, the 34th St. truck bypass road will be constructed in the 2015 construction season. This will help to divert heavy vehicle traffic away from the busy downtown core.
So, as we gather to celebrate this holiday season, let us use this time to reflect and count our blessings and let us be mindful that the greatest gifts we can give to one another are our time, our love and our service.
Please remember to reach out to your neighbours at this time of year, especially the elderly and those who live alone. Also, my thoughts and prayers go to those who are sick at home or in our care facilities. I wish you freedom from suffering and a speedy recovery.
I would also like to extend a special welcome to those who have chosen to make Lacombe their new home and to those who have returned to be with their families this holiday season. I hope that you have a great time.
On behalf of council and staff of the City of Lacombe, and from my family to yours, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and peace and prosperity in the New Year.
May the holidays refresh your spirit and bring you joy and togetherness.
Steve Christie is the mayor of Lacombe.