If you head east of Calgary on Highway 1, your route will gently curve around Chestermere Lake. Most visitors comment on how pretty the lake community looks and then continue into the open prairies.
What travelers don’t realize is that under a seemingly calm surface, the City of Chestermere is on the brink of greatness.
“For many years, Chestermere has been quietly growing and expanding without much notice. That’s all about to change,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
According to Chalmers, something Amazing is coming to the community.
“We work hard to provide good quality City services to our residents, but being a municipality that simply sustains decent work isn’t good enough. We want to take it a step further and truly become Amazing.”
To achieve this dream, Chestermere City Council recently approved a new strategic vision for the community that strives to achieve excellence by creating an amazing quality of life, amazing partnerships, amazing relationships, amazing opportunities, and amazing neighbourhoods.
“How we plan to achieve ‘amazing’ in each area will vary from year to year, but the goal is to become a municipality that is a beacon of excellence,” says Chalmers.
Chestermere is one of four communities bordering Calgary and has a short but intense growth story. While Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks have all celebrated centennials, Chestermere only incorporated as a municipality in 1977.
“Our community is young and ambitious and we do not want to live in the shadow of our neighbours. We may be small, but our Lake City has always been eager to achieve greatness and we plan to help the community become all it can be. This new vision establishes a framework to help us do that with clarity,” Chalmers explains.
The journey to creating the new vision began after the 2017 municipal election, when an entirely new City Council was elected. Having heard from residents that taxes and utility rates were too high, the new City Council got to work addressing those areas of concern.
“We heard loud and clear through the election that people were tired of high rates,” says Mayor Chalmers. “The first part of our term was spent getting control over these issues. We hired a new Chief Administrative Officer, took control of our utility company, cut tax rates and implemented economic incentives to encourage continued growth. Those were all important pieces of the puzzle to bring stability to our community. Now that solutions for those issues are underway, we are ready to move towards Amazing.”
For Chestermereians who may wonder if the new vision will change the fabric of the community they call home, Chalmers says not to worry. The plan is to take what is already enjoyed and make it even better. High quality amenities, recreation opportunities, safe neighbourhoods and a vibrant community feel are all incorporated into the strategic vision.
In addition to improving the qualities that already make Chestermere special, the plan to become Amazing also indicates new priority areas for City Council. Items of importance for this term include seniors’ housing, fostering inclusivity, exploring innovative business models, seeking more community alignment and pursuing economic development.
“We are so excited to pursue an Amazing Chestermere,” says Chalmers. “This community is ripe with opportunity and innovation and we are eager to move in a direction that establishes Chestermere as the most amazing community in all of Canada.”