Rimbey town council held a special meeting last Monday where they spent some time dissecting the proposed vision statement introduced by Bob Stevenson, chairman of the The Rimbey Business Sector Sustainability Advisory Committee.
The in-depth discussion gave councillors an opportunity to voice their opinions about the town as it is now and how they would like to envision it in the future.
Stevenson explained the vision statement needed to be time based and offer a reasonable picture of what the town could look like in eight to 10 years.
“It could be seen as the legacy of this town council and the community,” he said.
Council spent some time discussing on how to change the perception of Rimbey as being a retirement based, one-horse stagnant town.
“I grew up here and I don’t view Rimbey as a retirement town,” said Coun. Jack Webb.
But Mayor Rick Pankiw said the perception is based on age demographics which indicate Rimbey has an older chronological population base than the provincial average.
“But I see Rimbey as getting younger,” he added, noting he is observing more children in town.
Acting CAO Donna Tona said she also grew up in Rimbey and when she came back to the community it seemed tired and complacent.
While councillors agreed this perception did have a grain of truth in it, there was many attributes about the town that needed to be given a higher profile.
Pankiw said he sees the town as progressing and moving forward.
Councillors agreed the town is commutable, the hospital here is the envy of other small towns and the community is a hub for job opportunities.
They also agreed the trail system, soccer pitches, the arena, skateboard park, baseball diamonds, racetrack and Agrim Centre are high quality recreational facilities that the town should be proud of.
Coun. Paul Payson noted Rimbey offers quality education in all its schools. He gave accolades to the high school, noting the number of gradates from the school in the last few years has exceeded the provincial average.
“The students here don’t have the attitude that dropping out is an option,” he said.
Council will continue to review and revise the vision statement in the new year.