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2024 shaping up to be big year for Bow Island

Posted on January 11, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith

While 2023 was a full year for the town, Mayor Gordon Reynolds predicts that the coming year will be just as busy.

While the town will be saying goodbye to Dr. Dhanani at the end of January, they’re thrilled to be welcoming Drs. Joy and Andrew Okoror to Bow Island this past fall, the beginning of a new health team at the centre.

This is not the only development in health care for the town, said Reynolds, as “three and a half years after announcing that Bow Island would be eligible for new continuing care capacity AHS and a proponent are finalizing negotiations on the operating funding and model. If the bureaucracy moves along this winter, we could see construction begin on this facility in Westview as well.”

The Town will be installing underground infrastructure work for the Westview area, and in the next few months, they want to be engaging developers and contractors who may be interested in being part of this exciting expansion. Development of the park and playground areas will also be underway, paving the path for a sense of community for any potential new residents in the future.

“Development of the Westview park and playground will begin in 2024. This area will ultimately include walking trails, benches, lighting, trees, irrigation and of course, an accessible playground,” said Reynolds. “The financial impact has been significantly reduced by the fundraising initiative of the Troy Loney Committee and successful grant applications.”

“I do expect to see more business investment in our community this coming year,” said Reynolds. “Our administrative staff work hard to provide potential investors and developers with the information they need to quickly obtain the approvals and permits required to get projects going. This year will see a major update to our Land Use Bylaw that should bring even more clarity and flexibility to the development and building process in Bow Island.”

This change will benefit home and commercial builders as well, explained Reynolds, as he added that the Town is nearly sold out of developed industrial/commercial land but still has 50 acres of undeveloped land. He expects plans will start this year around opening more land up.

Something that weighs on many residents of the town is still the planned route for the upcoming Highway 3 twinning, and the Town Council and staff are no exception.

“This year, Alberta Transportation will be hiring a consulting engineer to take another look at the alignment of Highway 3 at Bow Island,” said Reynolds. 

“Our MLA, the Transportation minister and premier are all aware of the concerns of the majority in our community, especially businesses, with regard to the original bypass plan. A twinned Highway 3 is a key component to the development of the Agri-food Corridor across the south and it needs to happen soon to attract major investment to the region,” said Reynolds. “The Town will be advocating for the highway to remain in its current location at this time.”

With so much to do, and only a short year to do it, the schedule already looks full, but Reynolds is confident that, “Bow Island will continue to be a place of opportunity and growth. A place where people can make a good living and safely raise a family and enjoy life.”

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