Highlights for 2012
On behalf of the Council, I would like to thank Devon’s residents, businesses and volunteer organizations for their support and community involvement during the past year. In 2012, Council will continue to work to stimulate growth, improve our services and build on our successful Bike Town branding initiative. Council has approved a 3.54 per cent tax increase for 2012, that amounts to approximately $51.94 per year for the average homeowner. The $15.4 million operating budget was developed to maintian current levels of service, and towards increaseds in the cost of electricity to operate twon facilities, an increase in the library grant program to support operations, continued downtown improvements as well as an increase over $87,200 for the delivery of youth programming.
I would like to highlight the positive impact that branding has had on our community. The Bike Town brand has prompted several new businesses to explore investment opportunities in Devon and attracted a dozen new events in 2011. Last year, upwards of 6,000 people visited our community during events such as the Special Olympics Provincial Winter Games (alpine, snowshoeing and cross country skiing events); the Kraft Celebration Tour; the Youth and Paralympic Provincial Road Cycling Championships; Jet Boat Poker Rally; Ride for Dad and Wild Pink Yonder.
New 2012 events include an Emergency Services Gala to honour those who serve us and raise funds for a permanent STARS helicopter landing pad on Devon Hospital lands. We are also excited to host the Alberta Citizens on Patrol Association AGM and Conference this September, a three day event that is expected to draw 200 delegates from across Alberta. In addition, we are in the initial planning stages for the 2013 International Music Festival. We have also submitted a bid package for the 2013 Summer Provincial Special Olympics.
As always, Council is committed to providing quality services, facilities and infrastructure. We will be working on a new Facility Development Plan. At the Dale Fisher Arena, bleacher replacement and upgrades to the arena board and glass system will be complete this year. Improvements to the community centre include a new gas stove and coolers. Our Planning and Infrastructure Department has budgeted $727,720 for roadway and sidewalk reconstruction; much of this cost is expected to be covered through provincial grants.
As part of our River Valley Master Plan, funds have been set aside to complete the mountain bike skills park and install trail signage and markers, thanks to partnerships with the River Valley Alliance, the Riverview Bike Club, the Government of Canada and the Provincial Government. We plan to improve our trail system to include a historic cycling and walking component, as well as new historic murals in the downtown.
As we look forward to the upcoming year, I am excited about the new possibilities and potential for our community. On behalf of Town Council and staff, I wish everyone all the best in the New Year!
Mayor Anita Fisher