Town of Chestermere hopes to become a city
CALGARY – The Town of Chestermere is one step closer to becoming Alberta’s 18th city.
Council members voted to change Chestermere’s official title from ‘town’ to ‘city’ during a meeting on Monday.
The community, located just east of Calgary, is asking the province to approve the change effective January 1st, 2015.
There were many who took the time to let us know their opinion on this subject,” says Mayor Patricia Matthews. “It’s been one of our most inclusive processes… it guided us to this decision.”
“This is an exciting, historic move for our community.”
Although officials say they are intent on keeping Chestermere’s lakeside lifestyle, council members anticipates that the city title will help attract more businesses and investors to the community.
“Chestermere has been a rapidly growing community for over a decade and isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon,” says Mayor Matthews.
But not everybody agrees with the change.
The only councillor to vote against it worries being designated a city may be too much, too soon for Chestermere.
“I am really worried about a town that has been a town for less than 25 years wanting to become a city” says Stu Hutchison.
“I know we are growing fast i know but i think thats’s a little too fast. I think we have to slow down.”
But the head of the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce says the community’s character and “small town” feel will remain no matter what the official designation.
And the town’s first mayor agrees.
“We are a vibrant community and I think we are going to keep that feeling – I don’t think that is going to change” says Elaine Peake.
A municipality needs to have over 10,000 residents to become a city, and Chestermere became eligible in 2007.
Chestermere is larger than four of the 17 cities in the province, and is one of ten towns in Alberta which is eligible to become a city.
It’s population has grown by over 350 percent in just 13 years to approximately 17,000 people.