This is going to be a busy year for Cochrane…that’s for sure.
The Town of Cochrane managed to get quite a bit done in 2014, considering a lot of work was delayed due to damage from the 2013 flood. The Centre Ave. extension and intersection with Railway Street opened, as did the East End Pathway and several road improvements in the community.
For 2015, however, the capital projects that are slated to either begin or come to fruition are on a much larger scale – an RCMP station, a transportation master plan, work on Riverfront Park, continued road and pathway improvements, direction for a community arts centre and, the big one, the aquatic/curling centre.
In last year’s editorial, the Eagle looked at what Cochrane needed moving into 2014 and what was being added to the community at that time, which, in addition to the items mentioned above, included Wal-Mart and several other businesses on the Quarry site.
We also ‘begged the question,’ did Cochrane need a new curling facility that came with a $15 million price tag? This debate (along with the overall cost of the new pool) was tossed around town quite a bit in 2014, even with the threat of a plebiscite being brought up.
Now that the town is clearly moving forward with the pool and curling facility, in addition to several ‘needs’, most mentioned above, is there anything the town and council is neglecting?
What would be on your Cochrane wish-list for 2015? Or better yet, let’s have some fun with this – if you were appointed mayor-for-a-day, and you were allowed one executive order, one that had no rules attached to it and would take effect immediately, what would that order be?
Would you order road improvements? Or how about the creation of five new roads to help ease traffic congestion?
Would you implement a transit system to commence right away?
And what about our new aquatic/curling centre? Would you leave it the way it is currently designed, or would you change something? Perhaps make it even bigger! Or maybe scale it down. Would you put the kibosh to the curling rink?
Is there a service or business you wish Cochrane offered, or perhaps one you would prefer it didn’t offer?
Do you want more taxi cabs, or more grocery stores?
Should a moratorium be put on development to retain what ‘small town feel’ Cochrane still has left?
Or do you feel the opposite? Should the town annex more land from Rocky View County and build, build, build?
Would you approve an arts centre, a bridge over the Bow River from Riversong, reopen 4th Ave over the railway tracks (and tell CP Rail to send their complaints to someone who gives a darn), or place speed-bumps on every road in Cochrane so we become the slowest (and safest) driving community in North America.
This list could go on forever, which is really the point we’re trying to make here – Cochrane has many things it needs and wants, and will continue to for years to come with the way it grows with reckless abandon.
What’s important to one person is not necessarily important to another, so the key to moving forward as a ‘complete community’ is to do so with the best interests of everyone in mind and to develop a town that has something for everyone.
Debating the issues is a wonderful, productive and necessary thing, as long as that debate is based on valid, factual points and not simply based on emotion.
Happy New Year, Cochrane! May 2015 be productive and successful for each of you and for the entire community.
In last week’s editorial, we mistakenly put Brian Mason’s name as the Alberta NDP leader, a position he has not held for a couple of months. The Eagle will have to plead ignorance with regards to this mistake, as Mason’s departure as leader, for one reason or another, did not garner quite the publicity as some others have of late, like Danielle Smith’s for example.
That is of course no excuse, and we apologize for the error and to the NDP’s present leader, Ms. Rachel Notley.
It does, however, seem that party leadership in Alberta politics changes as often as some of us change our socks.