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Mayor has great hopes for 'beloved town' in 2011

Centennial celebrations will take centre stage in Athabasca in 2011.
Mayor of Athabasca Town Council Roger Morrill has great hopes and plans for town in 2011
Mayor of Athabasca Town Council Roger Morrill has great hopes and plans for town in 2011

Centennial celebrations will take centre stage in Athabasca in 2011.

As the town prepares to celebrate 100 years since its founding, Athabasca Mayor Roger Morrill spoke to the Advocate about his hopes, plans and expectations for the town in the coming year.

He said the year would be ‘activity filled’ with various events and festivals planned to celebrate the official 1912 incorporation of the town of Athabasca Landing, which underwent a name change to Athabasca a year later in 1913.

These celebrations will showcase the town, said Morrill, and will hopefully boost tourism and economic development in the area.

Commercial and industrial development will remain a priority, he explained.

“We need to increase our commercial and industrial base for sustainable growth. Availability of lots suitable and ready for commercial expansion and development is a priority and needs to be addressed in 2011.”

The mayor said he hopes to see Athabasca well positioned in the minds of political decision makers in the coming year.

“We must elevate Athabasca’s visibility within the geo-political landscape,” he explained. “For example, talks held with Minister of Transportation Luke Ouellette just before Christmas give me reason to believe construction of a new bridge over the Tawatinaw Creek could start soon.”

Continuing on the theme of transportation, Morrill said road projects will be a major priority for council in 2011.

“There are different paving projects and new road construction projects we need to look at. We will discuss this in the upcoming retreat. There is a pretty big consensus in council that we need to update our roads. Some of our roads are in dire need of maintenance.

“This is a serious issue. We ran our campaign on improving infrastructure and that is something we have to address.

“It’s not an area of glory for politicians, but it is something that is very important to me.”

Planning a new town library facility is also high on the to-do list for 2011, added Morrill.

“We will see consideration of a new library and exploration of possible partnerships and location scenarios,” he said.

Morrill said council would continue to make “efficient and effective” choices for growing and improving Athabasca as an “affordable and great place to live.”

“These are just some of my thoughts, but for sure 2011 will be an interesting year in Athabasca. With the support of council, and the good citizens of Athabasca, I see 2011 holding promises of great potential for our beloved town.”





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