In a 5 to 2 vote, town council has held off on recruiting a term transit coordinator and will leave that decision to the new council taking office after the Oct. 16 election.

The majority of councillors agreed with Morgan Nagel's motion to allow the new council to make the decision and deferred it until at the second meeting of November.

Nagel was opposed to hiring a coordinator, even on a short term, and believed that decision should rest with the new council.

"It was very clear in the written version of the report that if we had gone ahead with option one tonight that it would have resulted in hiring somebody who's purpose would be the implementation of local transit," says Nagel. "We may find that local transit is the right option for Cochrane, but that's not up to this mayor and council to decide. Let the people speak on Monday and see who they want to lead this town. The new leadership should be the ones that set the tone for transit."

While the majority of other councillors favoured the idea of further investigating transit, they believed the timing was wrong and should not be decided at the last meeting of the current council.

Councillor Mary Lou Eckmeier spoke at length on her concerns and believed the report presented contained extensive information the future council, let alone the current council, would need to time to digest and discuss. Should council have decided to proceed she insisted a strategic session be held, followed by a special council meeting on Saturday. The resulting vote required neither to occur.

Both Mayor Ivan Brooker and Councillor Ross Watson saw no value in the deferral and believed it would give the new council valuable information to review and consider in the spring of 2018.

"The thing I really like about this one is it didn't come out of the blue," said Councillor Watson. "We planned for it, we budgeted for it in advance, we all knew we were going in this direction."

Mayor Brooker believed it was important to start collecting public feedback now on what shape they want transit to take and that people were getting hung up over the word "implementation" when it was largely an opportunity to set the stage for further discussions.

Calgary Transit was recruited to provide input and recommendations on what next steps would be required to pursue transit. Senior transit planner Asif Kurji presented a report that included information on communications and public engagement, forms of transit, fare strategy, fleet procurement, infrastructure upgrades, service launch and the connection with regional transit, which is currently being examined separately by the Calgary Regional Partnership.

Cochrane deputy CAO Suzanne Gaida requested the hiring of a term transit co-ordinator to oversee the implementation of a local transit service. The budget of $144,888 for the position and public engagement had been approved by council during the spring budget adjustments and would be derived from an Municipal Sustainability Initiative operating grant.

Gaida told council there would be a request coming forward during the 2018 budget deliberations to establish a reserve in anticipation of launching a service in 2019. 

Earlier that day, Nagel briefly conducted a straw vote on a Rants and Raves Facebook page on whether or not council should make a decision on the report. He says in a span of about a half hour, 48 people were in favour of deferral and two were against before it was taken down by the page's administrator.

"I guess it's a reminder that these Facebook groups that appear to be public aren't actually public."


Green Light for Transit Funding Change

More Local News

Capital Plan Highlights Need for New Schools Every Two to Three Years

Keeping up with growth within the Rocky View School division is extremely challenging. With an influx of 1000 new students each year, RVSD is not wishing for new schools but desperately needing them.…

Plenty in Gov't Throne Speech for Cochrane, says Westhead

With the Throne Speech laying the direction for the spring session of the Alberta Legislative Assembly, you can expect more details to be added in the Alberta Government's budget being tabled on…

The Breakfast of Champions Goes to Half Hitch

Cochrane's own Half Hitch Brewery recently snagged a 'gold' for the Canadian Cereal Ale at the Alberta Beer Awards. Chris Heier, President of Half Hitch Brewing Company, shares the new category was…

Three Injured in Four-Vehicle Collision Just South of Cochrane

Three people received non-life-threatening injuries and two were transported to a Calgary hospital from a four-vehicle collision on Hwy. 22 south of Cochrane that disrupted traffic for several hours…

Decaying Vegetation Sure Can Stink

Town crews and fire services personnel have been taking actions to alleviate a rotten egg smell coming from local storm ponds that is impacting some nearby homes. Some homeowners living near storm…

VIDEO: BVHS Struck by Grease Lightning

Cochrane's Performing Art Students from Bow Valley High School are ready to take you back to the year 1959 by performing a musical journey about the love of two teens. The students have nailed it…

Town Pulls $159,000 from Reserve for Snow Cleanup

A special six-day snow cleanup to improve conditions on local streets was welcomed by residents, but it also came at a cost. The town reports it spent $159,000 to hire contractors for the snow…

No Fast Answers on Road Infrastructure Funding from Feds

Federal government road infrastructure funding was at the forefront of informal discussions between local MP Blake Richards and town council, Mar. 12, but unfortunately there are no quick answers…

Eight of 9 Members on New Parks & Rec Board will be from the Community

Cochrane has taken a major step forward in giving residents a larger role in setting the direction for parks and recreation in the community. After a brief discussion, town council agreed to the…

Provincial Championships Underway Today in Cochrane

When Cochrane High decides to host their first provincial senior high basketball tournament, they went full out. In total, 24 senior boys and girls teams from across Alberta are here to vie for the… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Upcoming Events

Connection Cafe

20 March 2018 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Cochrane Alliance Church

Fly Tying Club

20 March 2018 7:00 pm

Cochrane Alliance Church

Lunch 'n Learn: Update on Greystone (Burnco Land Development),

21 March 2018 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Cochrane Royal Canadian Legion #15