The town will be reaching out to the public this month for their feedback before finalizing changes to town council’s 2019-21 strategic priorities.
Topping the list of proposed additions is preparations for the anticipated annexed land north of Heritage Hills and the first steps in developing three public properties in downtown Cochrane included in the tri-site review.
While many have been heavily discussed and funding has been set aside in the 2019 budget, public engagement will be held to see if the town is on the right track and to gain further insight on the projects. The town expects to hold a world cafe style event similar to those conducted in recent years.
The town wants to start preparing for when they formally acquire 130 acres of land north of Heritage Hills from Rocky View County. The annexation is expected to be completed by July 1 and the town has budgeted $1.4 million for the purchase of the bulk of the land for recreational purposes with the balance being held by Rocky View Schools for a future high school.
Needed is the development of a master site plan for the recreational component and a servicing plan for the recreational property and school site. Council has already approved $100,000 to fund a master site development plan.
It is anticipated that the former Esso Bulk Station site on Railway St. will be the first of three pieces of public land downtown to be developed that were the focus of the public tri-site committee.
The 1.71 acre parcel will serve as a transit hub and include a municipal services building. The intention is to design and begin to construct the area this year. It will also be the location of an at-grade pedestrian crossing to connect the Historic Downtown with the Quarry commercial area.
Consultation will begin with potential user groups to finalize concepts for future development of the library/innovation centre/arts and culture building on Railway St. and the 5th Ave. land. A high-level concept plan was presented by a town task force late last year.
Also added is a pedestrian crossing at the Horse Creek Road which has been in the works since before this council was even elected. The town and Canada Pacific Railway are collectively completing the plan and its completion has been slightly delayed in order to expand the scope of the project to address some safety concerns.
The town also wants to complete a customer satisfaction survey.
The revised strategic priorities are expected to likely return to council in April for adoption. Town CAO Dave Devana said the approved priorities will fuel administration’s work plan and budgeting process for the balance of the year.
Council priorities are organized into four categories: connectivity, development and planning, community engagement and facilities and services. It includes an extensive list in each, some long-term, some short-term and others pretty much perennial high-level aspirations.