The second annual Dirt to Door Development Industry Breakfast allowed for city council to share the progress made in improving development in the community.
“We wanted to know what the development community liked, and didn’t like about doing business in Chestermere,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
“We heard that you wanted less red tape, you wanted us to be more efficient and that you wanted stability and reliability. We took all that feedback and got to work,” Chalmers said.
He added there are four main pieces to the puzzle, such as getting control of Chestermere Utilities Incorporated (CUI), gaining control of finances, enabling development, and planning for the future.
“The more we learned about CUI operations the more we learned about the impact not only on residents but also on contractors, business partners, investors, and developers,” Chalmers said.
Currently, the city is close to finalizing options to better manage water, storm water, and wastewater, Chalmers added. The city is moving forward on outsourcing waste collection and processing.
The second piece to the puzzle was for the city to take control of finances, which included a two per cent tax decrease.
Chalmers added under the leadership of the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Bernie Morton, duplications were reduced, better business practices were implemented and alignments within the organization were improved.
Next, the city made changes to enable better development, by meeting with companies to encourage development at a quicker rate.
“We’re wanting to improve relationships between city hall and the development community, make interactions smoother, with no hidden fees and no misunderstandings,” Chalmers said.
“Chestermere has a lot of good things going for it, we have a lot of plans and space for new development and innovative projects,” he added.
Lastly, city hall is determining what the community should like in the future.
“Decisions need to be made now to ensure the community is sustainable and safe,” Chalmers said.
For business owner Robin Impey, it was important for him to attend the Dirt to Door Development Industry Breakfast to know what the city is planning for the future.
“From my perspective, the four points were all spot on, and are all important things for the city to focus on,” he said.
One thing that stood out to Impey was that the mayor and council are extremely open to listening to the concerns of developers and builders.
“That’s huge for residential and commercial development for the city,” Impey said.
He added, it speaks volumes that the city took the opportunity to really listen to what builders and developers had to say.
“I think it’s really important the city is being proactive in terms of making things simpler, which makes things more cost effective for everybody,” Impey said.