The recently approved Greystone Area Structure (ASP) is only the first of three major decisions being made this year that are pivotal to Cochrane’s future. The three are: Greystone development, transit and the Tri-site Concept plan. For years, Cochrane has desperately needed to expand availability of land for business. In doing so, Cochrane will be positioned to attract new businesses, create space for existing businesses to expand, increase job opportunities in the community and expand our tax base to fund the infrastructure and services that we need. The Greystone development delivers in a big way. It provides land for light industrial and business park utilization, more commercial business space, and offers a complete range of housing. The estimated $11 million to $13 million in levies the town will collect from the developer will go a long way to pay for roadway upgrades and other infrastructure, and keep taxes down. Because this is a major redevelopment, it wasn’t an easy process to arrive at a final decision. As a councillor, I took concerns raised by the community seriously, and worked hard to mitigate neighbouring Riverview’s concerns, while balancing Cochrane-wide needs. Changes I’ve championed include revisions to the traffic plan and ensuring a compatible development in relation to Riverview. My expectation is that this will be a vibrant, award-winning community, contributing to Cochrane’s current and future needs. Transit is the second pivotal decision. The Transit Task Force has been working hard to put forward an innovative transit option that will serve all of Cochrane at an affordable price. Transit serves those who need options, and reduces traffic and vehicle emissions. It also acts as an economic driver. The “on-demand” transit option, with service levels reflecting public input, along with costing, will be presented to council for decision shortly. If council chooses not to move ahead, I expect it would be the last time Cochrane would be able to affordably consider transit, as we would lose out on the provincial transit funding that has been provisionally granted to Cochrane. The Tri-Site Concept Plan is the third decision. Cochrane has three sites open to potential development in its downtown core and a growing list of social and recreational needs to be met. This list includes seniors’ housing, the rodeo grounds, recreation, the arts, library/innovation centre and more. This is a rare opportunity to invest for the future right in the heart of Cochrane and to potentially create an exciting new dimension to our identity as a Town. Every one of these decisions is key. In order for council to make decisions that will shape Cochrane’s future, we need to hear from you. I encourage you to find out more about these projects and contribute your thoughts on these major initiatives by visiting the Let’s Talk Cochrane website: www.letstalkcochrane.ca Important: the Transit feedback survey closes on Sunday July 29. Don’t delay!