Incumbent Mayor Ivan Brooker continues to send the message of the importance of steady growth during the final week of his re-election campaign.

Brooker says he's concerned that some candidates are talking about slowing, if not halting, growth and completing infrastructure first. As good as it sounds, he says in reality it's more costly for residents and is detrimental to continuing to attract businesses to the community.

"If we put the infrastructure in first you'd have no alternative but to debenture the entire project which would mean you would have to pay huge tax increases all through the debenture because development won't come until later on," he explains. "Eventually you'd probably get your money back, but in the interim all of your existing residents are the ones footing the bill versus the developers when they come on stream."

"So you allow development to occur as you're working on the asset. As the bills come in the off-site levies are being charged, so the town's never out money. It's the developer that pays for the project right to the very end."

He points to the example of the new bridge across the Bow River. Seventy-seven per cent of that cost is being bourne by off-site levies and the town will be paying 23 per cent.

The town did take an $8 million debenture for the new bridge and connecting roads, but that was more about hedging the interest rate market, he explains, to help keep down project costs.

The challenge of keeping pace with growth isn't unique to Cochrane.

"It's the same formula right across the province. It's not us who picks the number for development. Calgary only now is getting their ring road. How many years did everybody say it was desperately needed? Until the province and the developers build out and you have enough money in the bank you can't build the infrastructure."

The other challenge is trying to continue to attract new businesses to town. 

"If you aren't growing as a community you cannot attract businesses. Businesses only come to a community where they see consistent growth.  So if we slow down growth on the residential side, you're never going to attract the business community. In order to attract the businesses you still have to have consistent growth, you don't want highs or lows."

He would like to see the town grow at a steady 4 or 5 per cent to continue to attract businesses while maintaining a constant flow of off-site levies to cover project costs.

"Personally I'm pushing for more business development, especially south in the Southbow Landing area. I think that entirely makes sense."

He says there is a demand for light industrial land right now, and interest has been expressed for both the Greystone commercial development and the Southbow industrial park. That's good news for Cochrane because it means business opportunities, employment opportunities and a better tax base.

Something is in the works for the old town hall site, too, he said. Madlee Development Ltd. is ready to present their proposal to the town and are looking to start development in the spring. There was not enough time to go through the process before counci ended its term so they are waiting until the election is over.

"I don't know what it looks like, they didn't share that with me, but they said they're ready go," says Brooker.

By being able to attract new businesses to Cochrane there's the potentially of higher paying jobs right here. For the most part, people have to leave the community for those opportunities. He points to the example of Garmin and how finding them a suitable home in Cochrane was so important.

"I absolutely worked my butt off to work with the developer and with Garmin to make sure we got a site acceptable for them because I didn't want them to leave town. And they are one of those companies that has really good paying jobs. They want to double their work force and they wanted to build a building that would expand to a third floor in the future, meaning they want to triple their work force in the future. So you want to accommodate them and do whatever you can to help them stay in town because they want to be here."

From the onset of the election buzz he's been listening to the concerns and ideas of individuals and organizations. He's also been attending several schools to speak with students about the election, but he also does so in non-election years.

"I love to go to the classes. Talking to the kids is one of the highlights of my job."

He says the plight of the fire department was greatly exaggerated by one town council candidate and says a plan is in place that would start to see manpower increase if the 2018 budget proposal is approved.

"We're not in a dire situation like that one individual lead people to believe. The fire chief has a very good operational plan. We are within all of our times within the Town of Cochrane. According to the chief we are not expected to have any concerns in the near future."

"The intention is to have five man crew and eventually grow it to a six man crew, allowing for two trucks to attend bigger calls."

He says he has been in discussion with library CAO Jeri Maitland about expanding the library and they are looking at where it can be accommodated.

"We're having a conversation about all opportunities. So if there was a notion of a cultural hub in the next few years then she would like to explore that. If not, she'd like to explore the piece of land beside it. Bottomline is we're looking at options but we haven't nailed anything down yet."

He said he has been chatting with the proponents of establishing a women's emergency shelter in the community and says they are currently seeking the municipality's support for the project at this point.

"They have a few different ideas and options that they've already been presented but they want to start their fundraising and get everybody excited about it and then as an organization start talking about what options might take sense."

Between campaigning he's been kept busy fulfilling his duties as mayor.

"I'm trying to balance off door hangers and visiting with people as well as doing my job. Thankfully I have volunteers; I couldn't get it done without them."

More Local News

Christmas Means More Recycling, Schedule Changes

Christmas is a time of gifts, plenty of food, trees and holidays and all four of these have an impact upon waste collection in Cochrane. "It's a very busy time at the eco-centre after Christmas,"…

Riverview Community is Setting the Pace to Slow Down Motorists

"Drive The Limit" states a window decal that will soon be prominent on the rear windows of vehicles in the Riverview community as part of a program to encourage motorists to slow down. The Cochrane…

4-3 Vote Determines There'll be No Chickens in Cochrane

There are chicken coops in Cochrane, remnants of days past, but there are no chickens and it will remain that way for now. By a close 4-3 vote, Cochrane town council has turned down the proposal to…

RVC Councillor Proposes Act of Goodwill towards Cochrane

Rocky View County (RVC) councillor Crystal Kissel wants to extend an act of goodwill towards the Town of Cochrane by donating back land sale proceeds for use towards the aquatic and multisport centre…

Town of Cochrane Under Advisory

Roughly a week after Rocky View County announced a fire advisory, the Town of Cochrane is following suit. As of 9 am today (December 14), the Fire Chief issued an advisory to the Town of Cochrane.…

Projected Residential Tax Increase Drops to 3.06%

Town council has approved the 2018 municipal budget and the residential property tax increase is now projected to be 3.06 per cent, down from earlier estimates of up to 4.45 per cent. The town’s…

Two Councillors Added to Cochrane Transit Task Force

Town council will have a larger role on the transit task force than originally designed and Mayor Jeff Genung questioned why but saw no harm. The task force format presented included Mayor Jeff…

Stats are Lower Than Expected

Cochrane RCMP is on Day 13 of morning, afternoon and evening CheckStops. Out in full force since December 1, Cochrane RCMP and the Cochrane Integrated Traffic Unit have been set up in a variety of…

Out of Tragedy Comes Conversation

A recent death by suicide of a Cochrane young person has parents talking, school personnel responding, and youth feeling a variety of emotions. Chris Pawluk, Rocky View Schools Lead Psychologist,…

RVS Releases Annual Education Report

Rocky View Schools has released the 2016-2017 Annual Education Results Report. Superintendent Greg Luterbach explained that the annual report is required by the provincial government, and is a way to…

UPDATE: RCMP Investigate Serious Road Rage Incident

Cochrane RCMP has provided a composite sketch of the person of interest in the case. They are hopeful the sketch will lead to identifying a person of interest in the case. Cochrane RCMP is seeking…

Mayor Connecting with Community Through Fireside Chats

Mayor Jeff Genung is kicking off his video series of fireside chats tomorrow and will provide residents with a timely update following tonight's town council meeting. While modelled playfully after…

Despite Previous Announcement, Naming Rights Not Finalized

On Dec. 9, 2014, the town proudly announced the curling centre naming rights were awarded to PBA Land Development for a $1.35 million contribution and it would be known as the Phillips Curling…

Getting in Touch With Creativity

Cochrane's Bethany Care is bringing creativity to a special group of residents. Shannon Lappin, Recreation Assistant for Bethany Care, is one of roughly 40 trained facilitators bringing creativity,…

Being Proactive Rather Than Reactive

Cochrane RCMP and Cochrane's Citizens On Patrol (COP) are partnering together to bring awareness to the Cochrane Community. Working together to educate the public, a 'crime prevention strategy' has…

UPDATE: RCMP Look for Missing 72 Year Old

UPDATE: Cochrane RCMP released a statement that 72-year-old Ken Murphy has been found. While no details have been released, Ken Murphy's obituary was in the Calgary Herald as of today (December 11).…

Fire Advisory Issued for RVC

It is not very common to have a fire advisory issued in December but neither are temperatures hovering near 10 above and no snow. Rocky View County has issued a fire advisory as of today (December 9)…

Making Christmas Merry For All

This Sunday (December 11) you can drop off any unwrapped toys, gift cards, or non-perishable items outside of Canadian Tire and help 'Stuff the Bus.' This is the 6th year the Cochrane Area Events…

RVC recreational funding approved to aid local facilities

The Rocky View County (RVC) council has given the thumbs up to assist several capital projects for recreational facilities that are commonly utilized by Cochrane and area residents. Of the approved…

A Furry Friend Can Be a Great Holiday Addition

If you are thinking of adding a furry friend to your home, the holiday season can be a great time. The Cochane and Area Humane Society is running at triple capacity these days with Jaimie Anton, Fund…

CochraneNow.com is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Upcoming Events

Cochrane Coworking Community - weekly meetup

20 December 2017 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Deja Brew, Cochrane





Cochrane Coworking Community - weekly meetup

26 December 2017 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

The Gentry Espresso & Wine Bar





Alpha Course

14 January 2018 11:00 am

Cochrane Alliance Church





Login