Q: 2016 has been an incredible year for Eckville. What have been some of your personal highlights?
A: It has been another great year. For me personally the highlights were being on Council 30 years and 25 as Mayor. The highlight each year has been the people of Eckville and the Council I have served with. This year has been no exception. We work so well together and each person brings their own unique knowledge to the table and a volunteering spirit. We are blessed with a great staff. We always have all the information we need to carry out our decisions.
Q: What do you feel were some of the highlights for the Town of Eckville this year?
A: I would have to say the parking lot in front of the Arena, the Community Centre, the Curling Rink and the Friendship Centre. I think that is a wonderful achievement. We haven’t seen the total difference it will make yet but we will be able to hold a lot of events that we couldn’t before. It will also change some of the events we have had in the past. It’s a real bonus to hold outside events in that big nicely paved area. It will be up to the community to decide how they want to use it in the future.
Q: What are some of the challenges Eckville faces?
A: We are a small community and we need to grow. We need to get ourselves out there more to show who we are and why this community is so wonderful to live in. That’s something we’re working on. It was a priority this year and will certainly be a priority in the new year. With that, we need to show how well we work with the County. We don’t blow our horn enough about all the things we do with all the other communities in Lacombe County.
Q: What are the strengths of this community?
A: Our volunteerism. If we didn’t have that – the cost of running many of our facilities would be prohibitive. If you look at the Rec Board – they are always putting their best foot forward and looking at what is next and best for the community.
Q: What does 2017 have in store for Eckville?
A: Hopefully we see that growth first hand. We need to have the marketing in place for our new subdivision. We want to sell more lots there, as well as in our other sub division. Our growth has changed – we used to be strictly a senior population, but now we have a lot more younger people which is so incredible to see. That ensures this community will be here for a long time and continue to move forward.
Q:How do you encourage that growth?
A: We try to make decisions that make it possible, but we always need to hear more from the public. We value that input.
Q: How has the Town and Council addressed the struggling provincial economy Albertans saw in 2016?
A: We are doing what we can to keep costs down. We don’t want to have a great amount of increase but right now things are unknown. Right now we don’t know what the carbon tax will do, not just for our residents but for the Town as well.
Q: Do you have anything else you would like to add?
A: I hope people can get our and support our Senior ‘AA’ Eagles hockey team. That is a great thing for the arena and the community. It’s a great socializing event so I hope people get out there. This is a time to be thankful for what matters most – which is family and friends. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
Mayor Posti wanted to add she wished to express her disappointment in the loss of the CIBC in Eckville. The branch served the community for 89 years and its absence is “a big loss”.