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One year as Mayor of RMWB, What's next

Last Updated Oct 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm MST

PHOTO. Supplied: Don Scott for Mayor Facebook page.

Reflecting on his first year as mayor for the region, Don Scott tells MyMcMurray that a highlight for him has been promoting our region while travelling around.

“When I meet people that have actually been here and they say what an awesome place it is, that’s been a real highlight for me,” said Scott.  “My goal is to give every visitor an amazing experience to this region and to make this a place where people really want to live and lay down their roots.”

To achieve that Scott says he will work within the strategic plan and really work on the downtown revitalization.

“We’ve already started the work on that, we’re waiting for people to come in with their ideas on how they think they can reshape some of the downtown and we as the Council have that as one of our strategic priorities,” said Scott.

He says improvements like Willow Square, the helipad at the hospital and the new art project all add to revamping downtown.

Scott says he feels Council is making progress in many areas, by expanding their outreach in the rural communities and lobbying the government.

“I have got to say we have been one of the most effective lobbying Municipality’s that I’ve seen,” said Scott. “I credit my colleagues for that, they really want to get a lot done for this region, they’ve worked really hard to try to twist the arm of every person in government that comes to this region.”

Some projects that were completed in the first year of Scott’s four year mayoral term include cutting $95-million from the 2017 budget, which Scott says probably makes us one of the most fiscally conservative governments in all of Canada.

There has also been a 16 per cent reduction in the Industry tax rate and work done on the largest capital project in the Municipality’s history, which is in the rural water and sewer project.

Council has also been implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations by addressing Moccasin Flats and will be opening the Conklin Multiplex this weekend.

A huge project for Council was creating the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation, which Scott says, is going to be key to attracting new businesses, marketing and branding this region,

When it comes to recovery from the 2016 wildfire, Scott says they is more work that needs to be done.

“I’m never satisfied with the progress we’re making on recovery because I always want more people in their homes but we are making good progress and we are where we thought we would be at this time,” said Scott.

Overall Scott said his goal is to continue to strengthen this community and get more people to move and live here.