Parkland County says they remain optimistic despite not receiving funding for major infrastructure projects in the area.
Parkland County has issued a statement saying they were disappointed to hear the Budget 2018 recently tabled by the Albertan Government did not include any funds for major infrastructure projects they had proposed.
Mayor Rod Shaigec stated, "Parkland County was optimistic that we would receive some financial support from the provincial government and we were very disappointed as I'm sure residents and business owners were that there was no investment into infrastructure in our community". Shaigec continued by saying they have expressed the impacts of the coal phaseout to the government and says they had an opportunity to invest into infrastructure projects in the county. He also adds, "this would've provided a significant return to the provincial government that would have created new jobs and a growing tax base for both the province and county".
Speaking more to the whole budget, Shaigec believes the province chose a path which is not sustainable and will affect Albertans. Speaking to the province running another deficit Shaigec notes, "this will place a huge burden on Albertans and not just current Albertans but future generations- and our concern is that is going to place our businesses in an uncompetitive position with other provinces and other countries as well".
Despite this, Mayor Shaigec and the rest of Parkland County say they remain optimistic as they continue to look for opportunities to minimize the impact of the coal phaseout for their residents. Also speaking more to government supports Shaigec explains, "We're also confident that when the federal government created task forces engages in conversations with coal-affected communities that the federal government will take a different approach that will benefit the government and all the coal-affected communities".
Among the infrastructure projects that the county submitted to the province is still the overpass through the Acheson Industrial Park. Mayor Shaigec explains further the impact he believes it would have saying, "it would provide more efficient movement of good and services so that would benefit the existing businesses, and put Parkland County in a position to aggressively pursue new businesses which would generate job creation and additoinal tax creation in the Acheson Industrial Park".
Shaigec also says he hopes to still sit down with Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous and the county is also working with the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board moving forward.
Still, Parkland County remains confident as Shaigec points to a number of economic strategies which they plan on advancing forward in addition to continually trying to attract new business. In closing, Mayor Shaigec says, "We're hopeful that we will be able to see some investment and job creation for Parkland County resident and residents throughout the Tri-Region area".