As our new Town Council and I familiarize ourselves with the various past, present and future projects related to the Town of Strathmore, it becomes very evident that the last nine years has focused on building a foundation – or infrastructure – for Strathmore’s future. Completion of the Regional Waterline, upgrading (to “State of the Art”) the Waste Water Treatment Plant and the annexation of 18 ½ quarters of land are but three major projects which will help ensure a very bright future for this Town. Unfortunately, these projects also brought significant costs – some of which were both substantial and unforeseeable. To satisfy outstanding debts, money had to be borrowed, and the Town finds itself in a position of now having borrowed 72% of its capacity. There is no suggestion that this should send anyone into “panic mode”.
The Town of Strathmore is financially sound and will continue to grow, expand and improve services to the residents. However, I can assure you that our debt load, and the need to lower it, will be at the top of my agenda in the upcoming Budget discussions. Once the location of the highway bypass has been confirmed, the Town can move forward with development of commercial, and heavy and light industrial land to help offset the residential tax base. With the pursuit of more industry by Council and myself, and the citizens of our community, I’m sure we will move forward and upward in a positive manner. It is my desire to accomplish this without raising residential taxes, but a balanced budget is not only desirable – it is a legal necessity. Great opportunity and a bright future awaits the residents of this Town – and I ask that you grant me and this Council, some time to develop a suitable strategy to deal with our finances. I invite Wheatland County’s farming and acreage people, Siksika Nation residents, developers, investors, tourists and people from all over to come visit our beautiful community.
Mayor Steve Grajczyk