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City of Lethbridge asks for community feedback on the brink of 100,000 residents

Click to play video: 'City of Lethbridge prepares for 100 thousand residents' City of Lethbridge prepares for 100 thousand residents
WATCH ABOVE: The 2016 Lethbridge census revealed that just shy of 97-thousand people call the city home. Now, city planners are preparing, and getting community feedback on a major milestone, and what residents would like to see in our city when we hit 100-thousand people. Erik Mikkelsen reports – Oct 12, 2016

As the City of Lethbridge inches closer to a population of 100,000 people, city planners are looking ahead to the future.

“This past year we reached 96,800 [people] based on the census,” Mayor Chris Spearman said. “We’re getting close. So, as we grow as a city, what should our transit system look like? What should our park system look like?”

The City of Lethbridge hosted an open house called 100K Day Wednesday. It was a chance for residents with city growth on their minds to have their opinions heard.

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“We need to expand our minds and think about what the city of the future – the next 10, 20, 30 years – means for us and how we want the city to plan for the future,” community planner with the City of Lethbridge, Andrew Malcolm, said. “Today is really an opportunity for us to bring all of the projects we are working on together under one house to try and get in as much public feedback as possible on a variety of different things.”

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Topics on the list of discussion included the river valley parks master plan, waste & recycling programs as well as growth on the west side.

“All things that really incorporate what the city is going to be building towards over the next 20 years,” Malcolm said. “You might not see these outcomes tomorrow but the feedback we receive today will all go towards developing that city of the future.”

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Mayor Spearman said city council will have a tough road ahead prioritizing projects in the city. He said heading into the Capital Improvement Plan talks, the bank account is running low and only essential projects will be put at the top of the list.

“Money is short. That was emphasized last week by the premier at the AUMA conference. There is no money – they are looking at at $10.9 billion dollar deficit and municipalities shouldn’t expect a lot of extra money from the province,” Spearman said.

“There’s nothing for luxurious items. If they’re not indispensable items like water, wastewater, and affordable housing then there probably isn’t a funding source for it.”

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The city said 100,000 residents is a monumental milestone to stop and reflect on how the city is growing.

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