Growth the focus as population cap lifted
BY ALEX FRAZER-HARRISON, CALGARY HERALD FEBRUARY 26, 2014
A year and a half after dropping its population cap, the town of Okotoks is in growth mode and preparing for decades of future development.
In the fall of 2012, the Town of Okotoks transitioned from a “finite growth model” to a “continuous growth model,” explains economic development team leader Shane Olson.
“For us, we’re very much at the crossroads of planning,” Olson says of the time since the change.
“It’s very much about developing our … economic development plan for the next four years and how do we get more investment attraction and business development. Town council is beefing up the economic development department this year.”
By adding resources to his team, Olson says the hope is to target sectors such as technology, professional services, knowledge-based industries and even perhaps entice corporate headquarters to relocate to the town just south of Calgary.
Development has eaten up most of the available land within town boundaries, with only about two years’ worth left. Now, the town is negotiating in hopes of annexing 2,136 hectares (5,280 acres) from the surrounding M.D. of Foothills.
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