MD councillors have unfinished business
Foothills: Barb Castell, Suzanne Oel to seek re-election
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 06:00 am
Foothills MD councillors representing the Priddis-Millarville areas are hoping voters will give them a chance to continue working on key issues, particularly recreation projects and planning for future growth and development.
Div. 3 Coun. Barb Castell said it’s an exciting time to be on MD council and she wants to continue working on many of the initiatives she has been involved with, such as getting more recreation infrastructure in the MD’s northwest corner.
“My time on council these past six years has really been interesting, with diverse residents’ opinions and many of the committees and projects I’ve been with, I want to continue on,” she said.
Castell was first elected to MD council in 2007 and is seeking a third term.
She has been working with the Northwest Recreation Board on plans for sports infrastructure in the area. New baseball diamonds planned near the Millarville Racetrack are just the first of what Castell said she hopes will be a number of projects to get the go-ahead. Her big goal is to get an arena built somewhere in the MD’s northwest.
“We only have the first stage, which is the ball diamonds, so we got to convince the other councillors this would be a good place to put a new arena,” she said.
The new ball diamonds are needed as previous ball diamonds near the track have been slowly washed away by floods in recent years.
As the MD works to recover from June’s flood, Castell said she wants to ensure something is done to prevent further damage along the Three Point Creek, which saw significant erosion in June’s flood.
“We’ve got to do something so the people don’t have to go through that again,” she said. “Some people lost a lot of infrastructure, roads everything. We don’t want this to keep happening.”
Castell said she also wants to complete work on the quad regional water partnership between the MD, Black Diamond, Turner Valley and Longview. She said it could potentially benefit MD residents in her area who deal with poor water quality.
Finally, she said she wants to work with the MD and other municipalities in the foothills area to get a facility to accommodate animals lost and abandoned in the region.
“When (people) lose a pet, they don’t know where to go,” she said.
For Div. 4 Coun. Suzanne Oel ensuring the MD plans carefully for future development in the region is a top priority.
“I want us to continue to plan wisely with knowledge of our resources and mindful of the cumulative effects of our activities on the landscape,” she said.
Oel is completing her first term on council and is running for re-election.
She said the MD needs to work with its neighbours and she will support the MD rejoining the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) once its concerns are addressed.
Oel said the MD is better off having a seat at the regional table, than not.
“I think it’s time to build regional collaboration and relationships and get over the fears and hurts of the past and get on with the business of working on regional solutions, spending tax dollars wisely and efficiently at the same time as representing the interests of foothills residents,” she said.
Oel said the recent mediation between the CRP and rural municipalities outside Calgary allowed the MD’s concerns to be heard and she believes they will be addressed.
“I think we were successful in bringing our concerns forward and looking at creative measures as a region,” she said.
She said she wants to continue working with the Province to upgrade a bridge and intersection at Highway 22 and Priddis Valley Road. The project is one of the MD’s top transportation priorities.
“Residents are still really concerned at the intersection at that bridge and we would be looking at trying to get some other safety measures in place, such as flashing lights or a reduced speed limit,” she said.
Oel also supports the work of the Northwest Recreation Board to improve recreation and sports infrastructure in the Priddis-Millarville area.