With less than a year remaining in his term as mayor, Sheldon Ibbotson has yet to decide if he will let his name stand again.
However, regardless of what decision he makes, he has enjoyed his term at the political helm of Rimbey.
Looking back, the mayor is pleased to see infrastructure and maintenance projects, previously on the back burner, have now been completed. He added road and sidewalk work was ongoing last summer and the northeast lagoon has been repaired.
Financially, the town is looking good, he said, noting reserves have almost tripled from 2010 when the town had $550,000 in reserves to the present where the reserve accounts are sitting at a healthy $1.4 million.
“It’s definitely improved.”
He is also pleased development in Rimbey continues to flourish, noting (residential and commercial) growth has jumped from $4.6 million in 2011 to $9 million this year.
“The ag centre certainly contributes to the increase, as does the expansion at Gibsons,” he said.
The opening of the swimming pool this year was a huge boon to recreation in Rimbey, Ibbotson noted. “It was a huge hit. People came from all over to use the pool. It was very popular.”
In 2013, a seniors complex and recreation projects will head the list of priorities.
He noted council is waiting to hear from the province regarding a new seniors’ residence for Rimbey.
“We are still waiting for the government announcement and will continue to work on getting a new facility here. It’s definitely a number 1 priority.”
Recreation continues to be a top priority for council, he said, noting that walking trails head the list for residents who completed a survey.
“We will continue to work on walking trails; $200,000 was budgeted for 2013 construction, (but) we have to get a registered right of way to where the trails are supposed to go. We’re negotiating a trail route. Right now we’re looking at a couple of options.”
Ibbotson is in favor of seeing the library expand so it can continue to provide even more services for the community in which it serves.
“They do so much for the community. They are certainly not just about providing books. They offer so much more.”
The mayor sees moving the town’s administrative offices to the provincial building as a win/win situation.
“It would be a good option for the library and not a huge expense and it would work well for us.”
Ibbotson is looking forward to the new year and the positive changes and growth he is confident will continue for the Town of Rimbey.
“I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and look forward to doing my part to make Rimbey the best community possible for each and every one of us.”